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Old 23-11-2011, 09:44 PM
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madbadgalaxyman (Robert)
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madbadgalaxyman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
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"Quickview" tools showing what any galaxy looks like

Dear All,

Here are the Very Mad & Very Bad Galaxy Man's recommended online & software tools for quickly finding good .jpg images of any southern galaxy of interest:
(I have excluded, here, the NED website, which is of course excellent)

This is an extract from an email to William Keel:

For the record, here I list the tools that I use to quickly and easily (but not with precision) compare UV (and other wavelengths) imaging data with optical imaging data, for southern galaxies.

Much of my astronomical work involves quickly comparing images of many different galaxies, or quickly accessing & comparing several images of a specific galaxy at various wavelengths. Therefore, of necessity, I prefer tools that can quickly show me what a specific part of the sky looks like, and I infrequently access the data archives

(1) //aladin.u-strasbg.fr/AladinPreview
This is my favorite version of online DSS, though the morphological resolution of the images becomes extremely coarse once one uses it to view galaxies of B = 14 magnitude (a far cry from the resolution of SDSS!). Apart from displaying the standard DSS2 images, the Aladin version of DSS also contains scans from the ESO Survey made with MAMA.....which are often of very good quality for southern objects. This tool (Aladin Preview) is a very efficient interface for quick .jpg previews of the DSS data, moreover you can put an object name or coordinates into the target box.

(2) //leda.univ-lyon1.fr
I look up the desired target galaxy using this LEDA database ("hyperleda"), and then I click on the "FITS Archive" option. Then, a further click or two quickly gives me really good previews of the DSS image. In many ways, these previews are complementary to the Aladin previews that I mentioned in item (1). The contrast and morphological resolution of the preview image of a galaxy in LEDA is often very different from the contrast and resolution of the preview in the Aladin database, so I always use both Aladin and LEDA to assess the optical morphology of a southern galaxy.

(3) //server1.wikisky.org
While wikisky is far from being the sharpest version of DSS, for some reason the DSS images are displayed in wikisky at higher contrast than they are at other websites. I don't entirely trust these DSS images (plenty of artefacts), but you can't beat this version of DSS for showing faint features in galaxies. While wikisky is somewhat slow and clunky, its large field of view provides a good way to quickly assess the appearance and the environment of a galaxy.

(4) I use the electronic starchart software called "Guide V.8" to very speedily "go to" objects and plot galaxies as symbols on a sky map.
I also use this software to speedily find out what catalog objects exist at specific grid-references in the sky. The positional accuracy is excellent for the galaxies in the displayed starcharts (not far off SDSS in accuracy). This is a most useful software tool, as it quickly and easily finds and plots, on a "virtual sky", the entire PGC. It also plots the "extended PGC", that is, it plots the LEDA galaxies.
Guide V.8 can also accurately find the coordinates of any galaxy displayed on the chart. Also, Cross-identifications for all of the galaxies, which are accessed in popup data boxes, are accurate and comprehensive.
Guide V.8 is like a Swiss Army Knife......it can do just about everything, and it is reliable and accurate.
I don't know if professional astronomers use Guide V.8, as it was originally an "amateur tool", but I have probably accessed
several x 10,000 galaxies with this software, and this software has proved to be accurate on every occasion, as it simply gets the catalog data in its database and plots it on a virtual sky.

(5) I also use my own personal collection of some 20,000 galaxy images

Last edited by madbadgalaxyman; 24-11-2011 at 07:37 AM.
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