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Stars in the Hood™
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Two 3D Views in
Stars in the NeighborHoodTM

The software comes with two 3D views. One (the Viewing Cube) gives you the close-up view of a neighborhood or even a portion of a neighborhood, starting with our own portion of the galaxy. The other (the Locator Cube) allows you to track the location of Viewing Cube in our region of the Milky Way galaxy.

Stars in the NeighborHood software View of Stars in the NeighborHood software main window.
 
Astronomy Space Software - Space Stars in the NeighborHood, Viewing Cube
Full-size view of Stars in the NeighborHood, Viewing Cube.

Viewing Cube

Here is where you see the details of a neighborhood, whether it be the Solar "hood" or any other neighborhood in our region of the galaxy. You can change the scale to zoom in on a particular star and its immediate neighbors, or zoom out to take in a volume of space 32 parsecs (104.4 light years) across. Also, you can change the types of stars shown. Include all of them, display only one type or any combination—red dwarfs, mid dwarfs (stars very much like our own sun), hot dwarfs (hotter and bluer stars), sub-giants, giants, super-giants, and degenerates (white dwarfs and black holes).

With the Viewing Cube controls, you can move this 3D viewer to any other volume of space within our galactic region. You can change your mouse cursor mode from "rotation" (click and drag to rotate the Viewing Cube), to "data" (click on a star to display information about the star, including many of the star's identities and catalog numbers, its position in 3D space, description of its light (spectral type and luminosity class), cluster membership (if any), orbital information (if member of a multiple system), and a "Hot News Flash" giving interesting facts about the star (if available). This even tells which stars have known planets and how many extrasolar worlds it has.

In Stars in the NeighborHood, you can select either "parsecs" or "light years" as your unit of measure. And it is easy to toggle back and forth between these.

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Astronomy Space Software - Space Stars in the NeighborHood, Locator Cube
Full-size view of Stars in the NeighborHood, Locator Cube.

Locator Cube

This volume of space has a fixed location and a fixed size (192 parsecs or 626 light years across). This cube shows some of the brightest stars in the region. It also includes the key, open clusters—the Hyades, Ursa Major, Praesepe (Beehive), Pleiades (Subaru), and Coma. It also shows the location of Sol (our sun) and one rare, six-sun system (ADS 9731).

The greatest value of the Locator Cube is in showing the size and location of the Viewing Cube. This immediately lets you know the location of the current "neighborhood" relative to our sun. So, you see? You can never get lost in space; you'll always be able to find your way back home with Stars in the NeighborHood.

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