Monday, May 15, 2017

The Joys of Astrometry.net

Some readers of this blog will notice that from time to time, I use Astrometry.net to annotate images. This is a tremendous web resource. You can upload your astroimages, and the website will generate a fully-labeled image identifying objects in the imaged field. This can be very useful if you're not sure what you imaged, but it can also bring out "hidden gems" in any image you upload.

A little while back, I uploaded an image of the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101).  I uploaded it today, and here is the annotated image:


There are no fewer than NINE other galaxies in this image--pretty amazing!

But the fun does not stop there. As you might have seen in my other post earlier today, you can enhance the image by combining your data with the image, or you can combine your data with that from professional sky surveys. Here's the results of those operations:

M101 enhanced with other data uploaded to astrometry.net

M101 with Galex overlay

M101 with SDSS data
The bottom line: uploading your images to astrometry.net can be an eye-opening experience and a great way to pass cloudy nights!