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  Constellations: Stories and a Deepsky Atlas


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The Hawaiian Astronomical Society Storybook and Deepsky Atlas is a long term effort to provide a good online atlas of the heavens, combined with photographs of significant objects, and their descriptions.

A second goal involves mapping the sky, using the following plan: Each constellation will receive a wide area map. There follows more detailed maps of the constellation, beginning in its northeast quadrant, and moving counter-clockwise around the constellation. Obviously, we had to make allowances for some peculiar shapes. We thank Software Bisque's The Sky for Windows for making this possible.

A third goal involves telling the story(ies) behind the constellation. Many good stories from both Greco-Roman, and other civilizations enrich our culture. We thank Kayoko Calef for much of the research in this area.

Many constellations, particularly the southern ones, have no myth associated with them. For their "myth" section, I have added biographies of the scientists associated with them.

We know of no other site that has attempted combining detailed maps, deepsky objects, and myth into individual constellation pages. That said, certain elements have been tried, and they need mentioning. SEDS has become a huge repository of astronomical images. Their cross-referenced Messier catalog (maintained by Hartmut Frommert) has become the Internet standard. SEDS combines scientific data, images, and crude maps. These pages use this fine work. Thus, you will find many links to SEDS here. See also SEDS' mirror site.

The Peoria Astronomical Society provides another survey of the sky, as part of their Astronomical Handbook. For other deepsky image catalogs, click here.

Finally, there is the Digital Sky Survey, a huge project entering its second generation. This is a monochrome CCD record of the entire sky. Generation one is a more superficial scan of the sky. Generation two achieves the depth of a longer focus 10-12" telescope. A half degree field takes up to two megabytes. You can access the survey easily through the HAS Web site, thanks to the work of Gary Ward.

This is an ambitious project that will take time to realize. Meanwhile, there is already much to explore and enjoy.

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