Explore - Sidebar
If you need to take your investigation of an object beyond what is displayed on the main page, search for another object or venture outside of SkyServer, you need to know your way around the sidebar.
By default, no matter what search you choose, the Explore tool will retrieve the primary observation - primary for images and sciencePrimary for spectra. The primary observation is the best photometry for that object after the image has be analyzed, cleaned up and had its photons beblended from overlapping objects. If you are interested in other photo observations or additional spectra, keep reading, we will discuss this in More Observations and All Spectra commands below
Objid - Paste in the Object ID for the photo you would like to view. This search is useful when you have a table of objects returned from a SQL query that you want to investigate further.
Ra,dec - You can enter the sky coordinates in either decimal degrees or traditional format (hh:mm:ss for ra or dd:mm:ss for dec) and SDSS will return an image if one exists. This is a handy search if you are curious about an object that you origianlly started investigating from outside SDSS. Enter the complete coordinates or Explore may not be able to retreive the image.
5-part SDSS - You can use this search to return any image from SDSS regardless of whether or not it is a primary observation. You need to know the run, rerun, camcol, field and object numbers. These numbers refer to the actual image and the location of the version you want to view as it worked its way through the image processing pipeline.
Plate-MJD-Fiber - This search is for locating specific spectra. You need to know the SDSS Spectral Location to use this search.
SpecObjid - Each spectrum that is captured by the SDSS is assigned an object ID whether or not it is the primary observation or an additional or secondary observation.
Takes you back to the SkyServer introduction.
If you are still in Explore but have navigated to another view to observe an image, spectrum or one of the outside databases that are linked to Explore, you can return to the main window by clicking the summary link.
Contains links to additional information available through SkyServer associated with the image of the object. Finding Chart and Navigate send to you those tool within SkyServer, while the remaining links provide additional images and information associated with the Explore page you are currently viewing.
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Venturing into the information associated with the spectra of objects is serious scientific territory. All the information about the spectrum of an object is stored in tables. All together, these searchable tables are the SDSS database. Each table contains a particular type of data. The SpecObj list has several options for retreiving the information for the spectrum you are currently viewing from a number of tables:
The SpecObj is a link to a summary of some key points of data that are complied from a number of different tables.
All Spectra If more that one spectra is available for an object, you can find it here.
Spectrum This link displays a large view of the spectrum graph that is displayed on the Explore page.
Plate Each spectrum in SkyServer was captured at the same time as 640 or 1000 other spectra. The fiber optic cables that directed the objects' light to the spectrograph were sucured through a hole in an aluminum plate. This link displays information about the plate itself and a link to all the other spectra that were captured using the same plate.
FITS If you want to download the spectral data to your computer, you can find them here.
Many of the objects in the SDSS have been imaged by other projects or appear in the literature. This section provided automated searches in a number of popular databases.
NED - NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database - This database compiles information about objects that are outside of our galaxy. So if your object is a galaxy or quasar (QSO) NED search will return a list of all the other surveys that have imaged that target.
SIMBAD - is an an astronomical database that includes objects in our galaxy as well as outside our galaxy. A search in SIMBAD will also return reference to you object that appear in the literature.
ADS - Astrophysical Data System - is a literature search and retrieval system for astronomy and astrophysics. It will return articles that contain references to your object.
SkyServer has provided a helpful way for you to keep track of objects that interest you as you explore. Notes is linked to Quick Look, Explore and Navigate. See Notes for more information about how this feature works.