Kevin Jardine's blog
A preview of new features coming soon:
I've overlaid the Sharpless, RCW, Gum and Westerhout catalogs on top of Douglas Finkbeiner's full sky hydrogen-alpha map. You will be able to zoom into the hydrogen-alpha image and arrive at about 35 subimages with commentary. This is a huge new section of the site and has taken weeks to put together.
There was a problem with the B-class star display in the last upload of the map (they are displayed as blue crescents instead of blue balls). I'll be fixing that and adding a new option to display large map windows (720x720 pixels as well as the current 360x360 pixels).
After a few months of inactivity, I've now made a large number of changes to this site.
Here's the list:
There is an article describing the origins of the Sharpless, Gum and RCW catalogs.
I've redone the map to update it to include version 2.7 of the Diaz et. al. cluster database (27 October 2006) and corrected the distances of several of the nebulae (more corrections and additions still to come).
I've improved the page that shows the details for each object so that this page shows the full size object image as well if available - not just a thumbnail as before.
My site stats show that Galaxy Map is getting about 1300 visitors a month. Not a huge audience, but I'm happy with the way it is growing.
I've discovered the SuperCOSMOS sky survey. For southern hemisphere objects, this provides a higher resolution than DSS-2, plus blue and hydrogen-alpha plates. As a result, I can create much better nebula images and I'm in the process of redoing many of the images on this site to take advantage of this new data. There are several hundred images to do, so this will take a while.
My goal is to create a full set of descriptions and colour images for all the nebulae in the Sharpless and RCW catalogs. So far as I know, this is the first time this has been done and I hope that it will be a useful reference.