Nelson Cunnington's 3-D Starmapping
Here is an exceedingly nice starmap created by Nelson Cunnington, showing
what the Gliese data and a bit of work can yield.
The map has Galactic North at the top (i.e., the center of the galaxy
is "up") and the size of the stars correspond to the depth of the stars.
The red and orange dwarf stars with white flecks are flare stars, "stars
that have been observed to increase their brightness manyfold". Like the
star in that Larry Niven story "Flare Time". Unhealthy places to visit,
and you definitely wouldn't want to live there.
Mr. Cunnington will have his own starmapping web site up Real Soon
Now (watch this space!)
Nelson had a programmer friend convert the Gliese 3.0 catalog into a
tab delimited text file, which was then imported into ClarisWorks. ClarisWorks
was used to discard all stars further away than 25 light years, and to
calculate each star's X,Y,and Z in galactic co-ords. These were exported
and imported into Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator's graphing function created
the skeleton of the map. This was exported as a picture. The picture was
then imported into Adobe Photoshop. There, the different sized star blobs
were added by hand. The results are quite impressive, don't you think?
Nelson can be reached at nelson at aguchi dot demon dot co dot uk
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