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Star Map in Galactic Perspective

Star Atlas in Galactic Perspective and Comments on Star Atlas in Galactic Perspective.

Installed 25 Sept 2001 - Latest Update 16 Jul 2019.
New or changed text is in bold.
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Star Map in Galactic Perspective

The galactic coordinates now in use are not the same as those used in the 1972 atlas. In each of the polar plots, below, lines for LII = 0o and LII = 270o are shown.

Polar Plots, Constellations Index, and 
local meridian Lookup

To see a track for Halley's Comet in it's 12 BC apparition (overlaid on this polar plot) goto: halley12.htm.

The Star Map above is a colorized version of a pen and ink 1972 Star Atlas by R.S. Fritzius

The two-color Milky Way representation and other cartographic details are based on Antonín Becvár's Atlas of the Heavens - Atlas Coeli 1950.0
        Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences - 1958.

The outlines of the Milky Way are according to:
        A. Pannekoek, Die nördliche Milchstrasse (Leiden, 1920);
        A. Pannekoek, Die südliche Milchstrasse (Lembang, 1929).

The 1972 star atlas has an uncertain amount of eyeball subjectivity as to star magnitudes and positions. The same can be said
with regard to the positions of portions of the equatorial grid itself. Some of these magnitude and position errors are being
reduced on this map. Also, I estimate that only about 60 percent of the stars brighter than mag 3.5 actually made it onto the
original star atlas. The missing stars are gradually being installed.

A "post 1958" galactic-coordinates grid is gradually being added to the map. It's lines will not completely straight because of the
equatorial lines position errors mentioned above. The black galactic equator corresponds to Newcomb's pole.

The post-1958 galactic equator (shown in black) is tilted about 1.5 degrees with respect to the pre-1958 galactic
equator (shown in blue). They coincide at 0 and 180 degrees galactic longitude.

Galaxy Number Density contours are being installed in the polar maps. The units for these densities are in galaxies per square
. The patterns are based on the galaxies plotted in Becvár's Atlas of the Heavens. The density contours shown are not
locked in stone. By sliding the analysis grid(*) around, different (but related) families of curves would be generated. Contour
lines are eyeball generated.

(*) Each bin in the grid is 3.16 degrees by 3.16 degrees square.

Outlines of well known astronomical images that are shown on the map

Galactic Center Wide Field VLA Radio Image - National Radio Astronomy Observatory
The Annotated Galactic Center - Astronomy Picture of the Day - November 11, 1997 - Center.
The Crab Nebula and Geminga in Gamma Rays - Caution! There are about 16 degrees of angular separation between the
Crab pulsar and the Geminga pulsar. In this photograph the pulsars appear to be in close quarters.

Highlights (All coordinates Epoch 1950.)

Barnard's Star, in Ophiuchus, R.A. 17h 55m DEC +04 33
Gamma-Ray Burst 990510, in Chamaelon, R.A. 13h 33m DEC -80d 14.5m
Lunar South Celestal Pole (just North of the Large Magellanic Cloud).
Supernova 1987a(*), in Large Magellanic Cloud, R.A. 05h 36m DEC -69d 18m
Supernova 2006gy, in Perseus, R.A. 03h 14m DEC +41d 13m

The constellation Hydra, which extends some 90 degrees across the heavens (Galactic longitude 330 to 220,
and 35 degrees north of the galactic equator) seems to be laid out (on purpose) parallel to the Milky Way.
Other constellations which follow suit would include Centaurus, Orion, and Canis Major. Cygnus and Aquila are
flying in the same direction parallel to the galactic plane.

Related Web Pages

NASA - New Map of Milky Way Reveals Millions of Unseen Objects
Multiwavelength Milky Way Science Users - NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

Contact Bob Fritzius at
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