The Astrocartica Interstellar Chart is a new astronomy tool offered by Astrocartics Lab, the brainchild of Kevin Wall who hopes to bring new and unique styles of mapping to the cartography of outer space. “Astrocartics” is a word that he created to refer to maps of objects in 3D outer space.
He has created the Astrocartica Interstellar Chart providing a chart of the nearest star systems. It uses a unique system to illustrate the stars in their 3D relationships to each other. It is 27” x 33” and shows all the stars out to 12.5 light-years and notable star systems to 25 light-years. Image 1 offers an image of the complete chart.
As Wall comments, “On an isometric projection star chart, the X-Y plane is drawn as inclined. This skews the chart so that you have to estimate the TRUE distance or do some math to know by how much the stars are truly separated in 3 dimensions. The projection system that the Astrocartica uses is different. It is a type of elevation map BUT allows the reader to see all 3 dimensions in a similar visual way that an isometric chart would. The difference is that all you need is a simple ruler to measure the TRUE distance between stars. No estimating or calculating is required.”
Image 2 offers an illustration that shows how the projection system measures the 3rd coordinate dimension.
Wall continues, “Cartography has historically been limited to making maps of Earth’s surface terrains and the constellations in the sky (without regard to their true distance). Today, we know we live in a huge Universe with many curious planets and space terrains. Maps of which can stir the imagination. Astrocartics lab is about the cartography of Outer Space.”
As he notes, “Although computer generated space maps are useful, paper maps have a special mystique to them. The Astrocartica is a paper map with a unique elevations-based graphics method that allows the reader to measure the true distance between stars without the need to calculate or guess.”
You can learn more about the Astrocartica Interstellar Chart here.
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