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unlearning the constellations

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#151 mark8888


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:12 AM


Helloooooooooo easy to use 3D map. This is great.
The trick is to zoom out a little past the oort cloud and then get a sense of the layout and the grid pattern by moving the mouse and shifting your perspective. Then zooming out slightly more and doing the same. Takes a little while to get the hang of it but the effort is rewarded. Awesome!
Works in chrome and possibly firefox, but apparently not explorer.
No program to download or instruction book to read. It works right in the browser.
By the way, of course I didnt make this! Others have been linking to it.
I'll attach a screen shot of this program in action.

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#152 dUbeni


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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:27 PM

Thank you OP, and all those that contributed to this "Great Post". A true insight into our home in the Milky-Way galaxy.

... The thing that makes me wonder is "how" did the old ones get all there idea's? They didn't have light pollution, I don't think. And as some have said, from a dark sky there are so many stars that it is hard to pick out constellations. Orion is just a bunch of stars. Bright stars that make a pattern that is one of the most reconized. I'm sure that (I know) all them stars are not all associated with each other.

They didn't have light pollution but they had the moon, and in a moonlit night, even with great skies, only some asterism standout. To them stars were fixed on a sphere,there were no distances, and maybe they just named the asterisms after things that were significant to there life's, like the hunter, the water bearer, the bull, the ram, etc.
Until recently the only asterism I knew was a trapeze with 3 stars on a diagonal that I called "the 3 Mary's", now I know it's part of the Orion constellation. When I was 12 years old, and men went to the moon, I started wondering about the universe and how it would be like to see it from the outside, and how far out would I have to go, knowing it was impossible due to its infinite size.

As a beginner (2007), I obviously started with the constellations, as a road map of the sky in medium polluted skies, it works well. Anyway I feel the need know more about the relative position of the solar system plane and the galactic plane and how objects fill the space around us.
I support the idea of OP, of creating new maps of the sky with more 3D and galactic information.
It is fun to look at distribution of open clusters along the galactic plane vs the globular clusters on Hayden Digital Universe. Although I new that, its hard to see it on the charts.
I'm having a lot fun with the Hayden Digital Universe, great perspectives from within and the outside Milky-way (just starting to use it).

Clear skies

#153 Starman1


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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

Periodically, the "veil lifts" and we see reality for what it is:
One night at Mauna Kea, observing with friends, the Milky Way rose.
Now, at that latitude, the Milky Way doesn't rise tipped to the horizon--it rises parallel to the horizon.
The bulge of the Milky Way made it look, and just for a while, as if I was IN a spiral galaxy, fairly near the core, and seeing the huge bulge of that core covering a good swath of sky in front of me.
At that moment, I actually 'felt" the size of the galaxy and our place in it. And, looking around at other areas of the sky, got a sense of three-dimensionality to the whole sky and all the stars seen.
These moments of personal serendipity are just too rare.

#154 payner


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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:13 PM

Enjoyed reading your experienced perspective, Don. You drew an incredible picture with words.

#155 NGC7088


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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:52 PM

What an amazing topic!
I started my "feel" for the galaxy by reading Crossen's Binocular Astronomy (first edition) way back when. To me he's the father of this topic and I feel honored and privileged to find he's still around and now I'm sharing not only an era but also web space with him. Hello Mr. Crossen, I don't even feel worthy to be here while you are!
To Drollere:
Write your book and all of us will read it and enjoy it and learn from it and be a bit wiser. But I guarantee you one thing. All your Group names and locations, associations and directions for "this and that" feature here and there will always contain reference to the ol' constellations names. Exactly like you've already done in each of your posts so far so it will be in your book. Because they are here to stay. Good luck!

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