A billion stars

March 29, 2012

Funny old day yesterday at NAM2012. I gave an emergency talk (filling in for a cancellation), picked up my share of the RAS Group Award for UKIDSS, sloped off to the pub with co-conspirators Nige Hambly, Mike Irwin, and Steve Warren, and then went to the RAS Dining Club for only the second time ever, at the Midland Hotel, where apparently Rolls met Royce.

Today is another fun day, especially for WFAU chum Nick Cross, who is giving a talk today announcing the public release of VISTA data.To make this a bit more fun, WFAU wizard Mike Read stitched together UKIDSS GPS data and VISTA VVV data in the Galactic Plane to make a zooomable mega image containing a billion stars. There is a press release here , Nick is on the Beeb here, and you can play with the zoomi-map thingy here. See if you can spot the Milky Way’s nuclear star cluster.  When you are ready for a spot of serious science however, do a few SQL warm up exercises and then zip off to the actual VISTA Science Archive.

Update : nice plug on BBC News web site  which for a while was the No.1 most-read … and is still number 3 !