Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why bother with Digital Universe Atlas?

He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Psalm 147:4
It is quite a garden out there containing billions and billions of different types of celestial objects. 

The Digital Universe Atlas brings highly accurate 3D mapping and modelling of the Universe to our computer screens thus greatly assisting us in comprehending the dimensions of space and time when human curiosity takes us even further from our home planet and the boundaries of our solar system.

"Ours" in the sense that we live in it. It all really belongs, of course, to God of Israel who has made it all and given the stars their paths. He calls them all by name. (We are trying to do the same using our computerized catalogues...)

Below is tabular listing of the default Group Buttons in the Partiview user interface from the Guide for the Milky Way Atlas. (Other atlases that can be viewed with the same software have other buttons.)

I have added links that give compact explanations to the terms and acronyms used in the table. The Milky Way Atlas Guide contains extensive information about each item in the list.

The very impressive listing of what one of the atlases contains should give a quite adequate answer to the question "why bother with Digital Universe Atlas".

starsThe observed stars
altLblGreek (Bayer) and Flamsteed star names
errStellar distance uncertainty
constelConstellation connectivity lines
nearstarsLépine-Shara proper motion star catalog
dwarfsL and T dwarf catalog
explExtrasolar planets
ocOpen star clusters
obOB associations
gcGlobular star clusters
pnPlanetary nebulae
h2Star-forming clouds (a.k.a. Hii Regions)
snrSupernova remnants
oriclOrion Nebula star cluster
orinebOrion Nebula model
oortOort Cloud sphere
radecEquatorial (RA/Dec) coordinates sphere & Radio sphere
eclipEcliptic coordinates sphere
galacGalactic coordinates sphere
mwVisVisible all-sky survey
mwHAtomic hydrogen all-sky survey
mwCOCarbon monoxide all-sky survey
mwFIRThe far-infrared all-sky survey
mwIRAScThe IRAS composite all-sky survey
mw2MASSThe 2MASS all-sky survey
mwHaThe hydrogen-alpha all-sky survey
mwGammaGamma-ray all-sky survey
dso“Deep-sky” images
sloanstarsSloan Digital Sky Survey Stars
galaxyAn exterior image for the Milky Way
starorbitsOne-billion-year stellar orbits
barThe Galactic bar
bulgeThe central bulge of the Galaxy
haloThe Galactic halo
lgrpLocal Group of galaxies
solsysPlanetary orbits of the Solar System
probesPioneer and Voyager spacecraft trajectories
1lmoGrid centered on the Sun extending to 1 light-month
1lyGrid centered on the Sun extending to 1 light-year
10lyGrid centered on the Sun extending to 10 light-years
100lyGrid centered on the Sun extending to 100 light-years
1klyGrid centered on the Sun extending to 1,000 light-years
10klyGrid centered on the Sun extending to 10,000 light-years
galGrid100,000-light-year grid centered on the Milky Way

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