SKY-MAP.ORG (or WIKISKY.ORG) is an interactive information-management system which encompasses the entire outer space. The basic element of the system is a detailed map of the whole star sky that mirrors more than half a billion celestial objects. No additional instructions are necessary to browse the map or change its scale. The process is very easy. By using the smallest scale, the user can view the whole star sky at once. Using the largest scale, the user can view tiny areas with the most distant and weakest sky objects.
The user can browse the sky either in Map-Mode or in SDSS
-mode provides real-time photo images of celestial objects). While in the Map Mode, SKY-MAP searches the system database for information about the objects within a specific area. Then SKY-MAP uses this extracted information to automatically create map images. In SDSS
-mode, the user can observe star clusters, different galaxies, clouds of cosmic dust – formations of new stars, jets of gas erupting from the active core of distant galaxies, the remains of the supernovas’ explosion, among many, many others.
SDSS-mode allows anyone to imagine themselves holding a very powerful telescope in their own hands. And this is true to some extent because a huge 2.5-meter telescope - Apache Point, NM, receives all photo images that are used in SDSS mode.
In either mode, the user can simply point mouse at any sky object and a small pop-up appears displaying the name and a brief description of that object. By clicking on the object, and the user instantly have access to detailed information about this star, including articles and different photo images.
The user can edit information about different stars by writing articles, adding the Internet links or uploading photo images. In doing so, the user becomes an active participant of the project SKY-MAP.ORG
There are other ways to contribute to the development of SKY-MAP.ORG. The user can enter the section named “Groups” and create his own group. The user will be able to describe his new group, collect or upload miscellaneous materials (articles, links, images…) etc. General articles can be introduced in the section named “Articles”.
Whether the user develops his own astronomical Internet resource, the API of SKY-MAP.ORG might be very useful for him. By using this API the user can gain access to the map, the objects’ information and SDSS
data. Some functionality is already embodied in the API that has not yet had the analogs in the visual part of the system. For example, it is possible to search objects based on different criteria.
Image cutout tool
Asrophoto and sky survey maps based on powerful real-time image cutout engine developed by SKY-MAP.ORG team. The engine heavily optimized to handle terapixels of image data to produce cuts in different scales, projections, quality with many other options.
Example of image cut URL:
- survey - survey used, for now can be set to "DSS2", "ASTROPHOTO", "IRAS", "HALPHA", "RASS"
- img_id - list of images separated by semicolon (useful for "ASTROPHOTO" survey)
- angle - angle of vew by x axis in degrees
- ra - Right ascension of projection center in hours
- de - Declination of projection center in degrees
- x_shift - image cut horizontal shift in pixels relative to projection center
- y_shift - image cut vertical shift in pixels relative to projection center
- width and height - dimensions of output image
- projection - output image projection ("tan" - tangent projection, "ait" - Aitoff projection, "eqi" - Equidistant projection, "direct" - Direct or Cylindrical projection; also projection can be inherited from existing image projection - "img_", where is Id of existing image)
- rotation - output view rotaion in degrees, rotation=0 - north is up, rotation=-90 - north is left
- reverse - set to 1 for mirrored image
- interpolation - pixel interpolation ("nearest", "avg", "bilinear", "bicubic" and "bicubic2")
- jpeg_quality - quality of jpeg compression (0.25 - lowest quality, 1 - highest quality)
- img_borders - if set to "1" will outline image borders in yellow
- borders - draw lines on edges of output image (useful for multi-tiles map debugging)
- output_type - output image format (can be set to "jpeg" (default), "png", "gif", "tiff" and some other formats)
See the topic for more details.