Virtual Sky - The Galactic Update

I quite like to make things. One of the things I've made is VirtualSky - my attempt to recreate Stellarium in a web browser. I created it during my time at LCOGT and, because they are awesome about open source, the code is on GitHub.

It has been a while since I last added improvements. Today I've worked on a few updates and I'm beta testing them. I'm calling this the Galaxy Update as the main change is that it will now display an outline of the Milky Way similar to the one in the excellent Norton's Star Atlas (19th Edition). Of course in Norton's it is a shaded galaxy but, as it is actually pretty tricky to only draw parts of filled polygons (when one part of them may be on one side of the screen and the other part, separately, on the opposite side due to the map projection), I've gone with just an outline for now.

The updates are:

  • Display an outline of the Milky Way by pressing 'M' (capital m) on your keyboard. Also by using the showgalaxy=true option.
  • Cycle through the various map projections by pressing 'h' on your keyboard. Each of these projections could already be selected using e.g projection=stereo but this now makes it possible to switch easily.

I'd be grateful if people could test this beta version and let me know of any bugs or issues.

P.S. Please don't embed this beta version in your sites. Stick to embedding via the LCOGT stable version.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 08th Jul 2013 (23:36 BST) | Permalink
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