|Info||Chromoscope is an accessible, easy tool that anyone can use to explore and understand the sky at multiple wavelengths.
View the Universe
Chromoscope has been created using public-domain datasets from a number of all-sky astronomy projects. It lets you easily move around the sky and fade between wavelengths using a simple user-interface to illustrate the similarities and differences between what is visible at each wavelength.
There are currently seven included: gamma ray (Fermi), X-ray (ROSAT), H-alpha (WHAM), optical (DSS), infrared (IRAS), microwave (WMAP) and radio (Haslam). You can click on the credit information, shown at the bottom-right of the Chromoscope screen, to learn more about each survey.
Control the sky
To move the map around, simply ‘grab’ it with the cursor and drag around the screen. You can double-click (or use the plus and minus keys on your keyboard or a scroll wheel) to zoom in and out. A simple slider (or a set of keyboard shortcuts) allows you to fade gradually along the spectrum and to see structures and features change as they go. A set of labels can be toggled on and off (with the ‘L’ key) to guide people around the sky and, if an Internet connection is present, users can search for named objects and jump right to them.
No installation needed
A standard, modern, web browser is all that you need to use Chromoscope so there is no need to install any extra software, plugins or learn a new interface. Being platform independent means that whether you use Windows, Mac or Linux, it should still be accessible.
Chromoscope does not need a web connection to operate (other than for the search function) and it can be downloaded to your computer for use elsewhere. You can download the basic code (pretty compact) and then select which wavelength collections you want. The entire package, including all wavelengths and zoom levels, currently stands at just over half a gigabyte. This makes Chromoscope ideal for running from a USB memory stick or for downloading from a server. It can easily be copied around and is an open-source project, meaning that none of the code is hidden and users are welcome to modify and adapt it for their purposes.
Chromoscope was created by Stuart Lowe (University of Manchester), Chris North (Cardiff University) and Robert Simpson (Cardiff University).