The Interactive Sky Chart, designed by Roger W. Sinnott and The Interactive Factory for Sky & Telescope, can simulate a naked-eye view of the sky from any location on Earth, at any time of night, on any date from 1600 to 2400. The circle seen here simulates the view of a dome centered over New York City in April 2006. The yellow rectangle represents the view looking into the southeastern part of the dome. The purple rectangle is a view into deep space. The stars and planets charted are those typically visible without optical aid under clear suburban skies. Deep-sky objects that can be seen through binoculars are also plotted. Observations over many centuries are used to predict which stars and planets will be visible from different areas at various times of the year. To specify a point on the Earth or celestial sphere, geometers use spherical coordinates. In the case of Earth, these are named latitude and longitude. Astronomers expand Earth’s coordinates out into the celestial sphere using coordinates called declination and right ascension that stay fixed with respect to the stars. This is why they can be permanently printed on star maps. The Interactive Sky Chart can be found at http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/skychart.
Hirshfield, Alan and Roger W. Sinnott, eds. 1999. Sky Catalogue 2000.0. Vol. 2: Double Stars and Variable Stars, and Non-Stellar Objects. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Robinson, Leif J. 2010. Sky & Telescope. “A Brief History of Sky and Telescope.” Accessed February 12, 2010. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/about/generalinfo/3305301.html.
Sinnott, Roger W. and The Interactive Factory. 2006. Sky Chart of New York City in April 2006. Courtesy of Sky & Telescope. In “2nd Iteration (2006): The Power of Reference Systems,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Deborah MacPherson. http://scimaps.org.
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Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.