Virtual Sky

This is old news but I realised that I hadn't actually mentioned it on my own blog. A while ago, as part of my job at LCOGT, I created Virtual Sky. I made it to fill a need.

Over the years I've known many websites that need a view of what you can see in the night sky. Many astronomical societies do this on a monthly basis and Ian Morison at Jodrell Bank often uses screenshots from various planetarium software. The problem is that these images are static and only show the view from one location on the Earth. I've often seen Java applets used to get around this. These work if people have Java installed. With HTML5 becoming usable, the time had come for a true web-based solution.

I created Virtual Sky using Javascript and it can be embedded in other webpages fairly easily (unless you are on a Wordpress hosted blog as they won't allow it). It is also easy to customise to your specific requirements. You can turn constellation lines and labels on and off, show grid lines, invert the colours, set the location, specify a particular date and much more. You can move the sky around with your mouse and there are keyboard shortcuts similar to those in Stellarium.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 01st May 2011 (21:37 BST) | Permalink
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