ann2103 — Announcement

Interact with ESA/Hubble's Images with New App

3 March 2021

Image webpages on the ESA/Hubble website now include the integration of a new image app utilising the power of the Aladin Interactive Sky Atlas. This app allows users to explore astronomical images or full surveys and to superimpose and compare multi-wavelength entries from Hubble’s astronomical datasets.

This new interactive app can be found at the bottom-right of each image webpage, where other image metadata (colours, filters, coordinates, etc.) are provided and overlays the image on top of astronomical surveys to enable personal exploration.

The Aladin Interactive Sky Atlas is a project of the Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS — Strasbourg astronomical Data Centre) in France. The CDS is dedicated to the collection and worldwide distribution of astronomical data and related information. The centre is host to the SIMBAD database, an astronomical database of objects beyond the Solar System that is the world reference database for the identification of astronomical objects and also to VizieR, the catalogue service for the CDS reference collection of astronomical catalogues and tables published in academic journals. 

The CDS’s mission is to collect useful information concerning astronomical objects that is available in computerised form. The data are then upgraded by critical evaluations and comparisons to distribute the results to the astronomical community worldwide, who use these vast resources to conduct scientific research.

The Aladin Interactive Sky Atlas comes in two formats: Aladin Desktop, a standalone Java application, and Aladin Lite, a “lightweight” version of the Aladin tool that runs in a web browser, is geared towards simple visualisation of a sky region, and is easy to embed in any web page. 

The new Sky Viewer app, developed by NSF's NOIRLab under the leadership of image specialist Mahdi Zamani, uses the powerful Aladin Lite version directly in the webpage giving a “porthole to the Universe” that can be expanded for full-page exploration. In addition to the ESA/Hubble website, Aladin Lite is integrated in several astronomical websites, both for professional and outreach uses. Notably, it powers ESA Sky, which is developed at the ESA Science Data Centre at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC). ESA Sky allows users to explore and compare datasets from various other telescopes, including Hubble.



Bethany Downer
ESA/Hubble Chief Communications Officer

About the Announcement



Exploring the Interactive ESA/Hubble image app
Exploring the Interactive ESA/Hubble image app

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