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Amer
2009-Jul-27, 07:11 PM
Hi Gang,

Does anybody know where I can find high resolution star maps? I'm trying to create a 3D simulation of the solar system and I can't find any high res star maps that can actually work, I'm using the NASA maps but they're not very ... pretty :(

Ideas?

cope
2009-Jul-27, 08:05 PM
Welcome, Amer. I hope you find an answer to your question.

It is a bit confusing what you are asking for. Star maps typically represent objects outside the solar system and most of them are sufficiently far away that on a scale that would suit the solar system, they would be immeasurably distant.

Also, are you looking for printed maps only? There are all sorts of software programs available (many for free) that can show the sky and provide zooming capability and the option to call up the view of the sky from different places at different times. The one I currently use is called Stellarium and is available for free here. (http://stellarium.org/)

Perhaps if you provide a bit more detail about what you are trying to do and what you are looking for, you will get better answers.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy BAUT forums as much as I do.

Quadrazar
2009-Jul-27, 08:38 PM
Hi Amber,

I tried to do the make a similar 3D simulation once. There is a practical problem I encountered that I believe is worth mentioning. The planets are so small in relation to their distance that when you put them on a computer screen most of them will be less then on pixel.

Quadrazar
2009-Jul-27, 10:13 PM
there is highres starmap at he bottom of this site:


http://www.cortland.edu/flteach/civ/DavidWeb/resources.htm (http://www.cortland.edu/flteach/civ/DavidWeb/resources.htm)

Veeger
2009-Jul-28, 03:38 AM
Here's another: http://home.arcor-online.de/axel.mellinger/mwpan_aitoff.html

Dgennero
2009-Jul-28, 03:20 PM
Celestia has it all: http://celestia.en.softonic.com/
As far as I remember, it contains 3D objects and you can fly to other stellar systems and view the sky from there - latest findings are updated regularly.

eburacum45
2009-Jul-28, 03:27 PM
Some games require a spherical map which can be used as a distant stars background; the one posted by Quadrazar is the best one I've seen so far, although it would be nice to have one with at least twice the resolution.

Veeger
2009-Jul-28, 09:50 PM
Some games require a spherical map which can be used as a distant stars background; the one posted by Quadrazar is the best one I've seen so far, although it would be nice to have one with at least twice the resolution.

That map is a cylindrical projection which is mirror imaged and distorts the constellation shapes badly. Its designed to be wrapped around a cylinder.

mollwollfumble
2009-Jul-29, 05:34 AM
If all you're looking for is a set of 2-D maps as a backdrop for a 3-D animation of the solar system then I can suggest several alternatives.

1. Programs such as Stellarium (available free) give good images of white stars on a black sky.
http://www.stellarium.org/
You could screen-dump these and use them as a background. A possible problem is that they are limited to stars from the Bright Star Catalog which includes only those stars that are visible to the naked eye.

2. You could plot your own star maps from the Bright Star Catalog. Software that comes free with the catalog database will read in such parameters as magnitude, longitude and declination. I'm using the database and the f77 version of this software from:
http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/Cat?V/50
I've also seen a C++ version of this software on the web somewhere.

3. For more stars (to magnitude 7), I saw a very good complete set of star maps online recently. It's in a set of 21 pdfs.
http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1052

4. For arbitrary resolution, I can thoroughly recommend the AAVSO website. Star maps can be plotted to arbitrary magnitude from:
http://www.aavso.org/observing/charts/vsp/index.html
The only real limitation on using the AAVSO charts that I can think of at the moment would be be that the field of view is limited to 900 arc minutes, so it would take rather a lot of charts to fill the whole of the celestial sphere.

eburacum45
2009-Jul-29, 07:36 PM
That map is a cylindrical projection which is mirror imaged and distorts the constellation shapes badly. Its designed to be wrapped around a cylinder.

It should be possible to convert it to a spherical projection, although there would be data missing at the poles no doubt. That could be filled in using maps from other sources, with a bit of care.

Veeger
2009-Jul-30, 01:10 AM
It should be possible to convert it to a spherical projection, although there would be data missing at the poles no doubt. That could be filled in using maps from other sources, with a bit of care.

True. Its done frequently. Spherical projections look stretched at the poles but when "wrapped" around a sphere by a 3D sphere texturing function they look very realistic.