'100,000 Stars': interactive visualisation lets you explore the Milky Way from your browser
119,617 have actually been mapped, but let's not spoil a cool-sounding name
Wednesday 16 October 2013
Leave it to Google to create software that lets us explore space right from in front of our computer: ‘100,000 Stars’ is an interactive visualisation that lets you pan and scroll your way around the Milky Way, right from your browser.
It’s not an official product from the search giant, but it is one of their Google Chrome ‘experiments’ – bits of code that showcase the possibilities of the browser – with this particular example built by “some space enthusiasts at Google”.
The project actually maps more than 100,00 stars; there are 119,617 present, with a close zoom in showing off 87 individual stars and a zoom out showing galaxy view rendition based on spiral galaxy NGC 1232 – though to resemble our own Milky Way.
Clicking on a star will give you more information about it and there’s a button in the top left offering viewers a quick tour of the place, as well as an option to view the Milky Way using the stellar colour index – with stars colour-coded from red (a cool 3,840ºK) to purple (a toasty 42,000ºK).
The space-and-cosmos enthusiasts out there might also notice that the music (toggle for that in the top right) is somewhat familiar. It is, in fact, the work Sam Hulick – the composer behind the Mass Effect soundtracks.
For those interested in the code, one of the engineers responsible has outlined the process here.
Or you can click right here to go to 100,000 stars itself.
And, as the site itself warns, “scientific accuracy is not guaranteed. Please do not use this visualization for interstellar navigation.”
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