Digital Universe Atlas and Partiview

Digital Universe Atlas and Partiview

Postby steve-fung » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:27 pm

Imagine traveling flaster than the speed of light from our sun to the Orion Nebula as nearby stars move away from their familiar positions in the sky. Looking back, our sun is but a spec in the Milky Way background with no familiar constellation to be seen. Fantasy? Well, actually not - it was a virtual tour using the Digital Universe Atlas created by the Hayden Planetarium.

You can download the data for free and use a program called Partiview, short for "particle view", and explore any part of the observable universe at two scales - Milky Way scale (for various viewing positions of stars, star clusters, and nebulae within the Milky Way) and extragalactic scale(for viewing galaxies, supraclusters, and galaxy filaments within the known universe).

Partiview is a free, open-source software created by Suart Levy, a research scientist at the National Center for Superconducting Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which allows mono- and stereoscopic views of 4-dimensional data. In addition to the Digital Universe, there are other astronomy applications that can be obtained at


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