Monday 5 July 2010

Hyperspectral universe

I just discovered a fascinating web site called Chromoscope, which blends results from a number of astronomical projects working at wavelengths right across the EM spectrum. Basically you move a slider and change the wavelength at which you are 'seeing' the universe. They added microwave data from the Planck space telescope today.

Near infrared is 'represented' by Hydrogen-alpha data at about 656 nm (deep red really) and there is far infrared data from IRAS. The spectra are not continuous so as you move the slider you blend distinct data sets rather than moving continuously across wavelengths.

Kudos to the University of Cardiff for supporting this open source data-visualisation project, which makes use of the Google Maps API for zooming and panning.

[I plan to list current infrared astronomy projects here, once I've completed some research.]