Which Constellations are in the SDSS?
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has captured images in over ¼ of the sky. Although there are over 340 million images of stars and galaxies in the SDSS there is still a lot of sky where the SDSS telescope has not pointed. Looking up at the sky, it is difficult to imagine how a 2.5 meter telescope sees the same view. In this activity we will use an online service called Astrometry.net to do just that. You can use your own images or ones that have been provided.
Let’s see how to do this with an example using an image taken by Vivian Hoette from the University of Chicago Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.
Step 1 – We start with an image Vivian took looking up at the constellation Taurus when the bright planet Jupiter was traveling through. You can follow these steps with any digital image of the night sky that is saved to your computer. If you would like to use one of the mystery images taken by SkyServer enthusiasts, click here.
Step 2 – Upload the image to Astrometry.net.
Step 3 – Wait up to 10 minutes. Refresh the web page every few minutes to see if the analysis is complete.
Step 4 – When your results appear, click on the image to view the summary. You must mouse over the image to see additional options for viewing. Choose “annotated” to see the labels for constellations, bright stars and other well-known objects.
Step 5 – The next really amazing part is that Astromentry.net can talk to the SDSS and show you where in your picture the SDSS has also captured images. Click the SDSS link in the image window to see this information.