Universe  ID: 4856

An Elsewhere Starfield

In the spirit of the original, this is a randomized star map suitable as a backdrop for views of space from places that are far from Earth. While the Gaia Data Release 2 star catalog still provides the galactic background, the stars of the Tycho 2 catalog have been randomly moved around so that no recognizable constellation figures remain. Using Tycho 2 in this way ensures that the image contains a plausible statistical distribution of star brightness and color. Tycho 2 stars down to magnitude 11.5 are included, with brighter stars moving farther than dim ones. Although the star positions are randomized, they are the same across all of the images.

The starfield is offered in two different coordinate frames. The first is in celestial coordinates, in which the x-axis of the image corresponds to Earth's equator and the galactic plane is tilted 63°. The second version of the starfield is in galactic coordinates, in which the x-axis of the image and the plane of the galaxy are parallel. All of the images are in OpenEXR's half-float format, which provides higher dynamic range in a linear colorspace while easily accommodating very large files. Most 3D animation and HDR image processing software can read OpenEXR.

Older Version


Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (USRA): Lead Visualizer
Tom Bridgman (GST): Visualizer
Laurence Schuler (ADNET): Technical Support
Ian Jones (ADNET): Technical Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Gaia team/ESA

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Data Used:
Hipparcos/Telescope/Tycho 2 Catalogue
Gaia/Data Release 2
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Astrophysics Stills

SVS >> Galaxy
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Sky Map
SVS >> Space
SVS >> Star
SVS >> Astronomy >> Milky Way
NASA Science >> Universe