Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Largest Ever Astronomical Map

The Carina Nebula

Astronomers at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany have used the Leaflet mapping platform to create a Map of the Milky Way. The map is made from 268 individual images and consists of around 46 billion pixels, making it the largest astronomical image ever created. Using the map the university has been able to identify more than 50,000 new variable objects which have never been recorded before.

It took me a while to realize but the coordinates box, in the bottom left corner of the map, is actually a search box. This means that you can enter the name of individual stars to find them on the map.

Unfortunately the map doesn't use the Leaflet-Hash plug-in so you can't link to specific views on the map. It would be a simple task to add the plug-in to provide dynamic URL's. This would allow users to share links to specific locations on the map.

You can read more about the map in this press release from the Ruhr University Bochum.

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