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Project AstroFly Examples: A Small Fraction of Our Milky Way Galaxy in Its Simplified Wireframe

This image, generated by AstroFly, shows what a small fraction of our Galaxy (in 3D) is mapped in visible light. The trouble is that clouds of interstellar dust and gas are opaque to penetrating visible light; thus, light coming from many directions is blocked by such veils, which is evident especially in the galactic plane. In the above image, our Sun lies at the center of the "globular cluster" of stars, veiled by its neighboring stars because of the actual point of view. The young, hot, blue stars are visible in the galactic plane, whereas the older, cooler, red stars are above and below it.

To get this view in AstroFly, follow these steps:
  1. Start AstroFly.
  2. Press F5 to hide lines and names of all the constellations, and press F6 to hide names of famous stars.
  3. In the Main Control Panel, uncheck the box Limit Visual Magnitude (from the Sun).
  4. In the Main Control Panel, select the By Same Size for All Stars option.
  5. In the Astro-Fly-Through Control Panel, enter the value 340 into the RA in Degrees field, enter the value 70 into the DE in Degrees field, enter the value 100000 into the DFTS in Parsecs field, and click the Fly Now button.
  6. In the Main Control Panel, check the box Mark Extent of Our Milky Way Galaxy as Simplified Wireframe.
  7. In the Main Control Panel, enter the value 10 into the FOV Angle in Degrees field.
  8. Rotate the view around the line of sight to orient the galactic plane horizontally.