Selection Help > 3D Galaxy View Help


    Please Note: This feature is only available in SkySafari Plus and Pro.

    Galaxy View helps you visualize the 3-D location of stars and deep sky objects. Using paired face-on and edge-on views of the Galaxy, it shows you where that cluster or nebula is actually located relative to the rest of the Galaxy - a three-dimensional perspective. The face-on image is an artist's rendition based on recent data from the Spitzer Space Telescope looking down from above the north galactic pole

    Objects in the left, face-on view are always drawn overlaid on the galactic disk so they will be visible. This does not imply the object is actually in the northern galactic hemisphere. You should consult the right, edge-on view to see which hemisphere the object is actually in.

    If Galaxy View is shown from the Object Info, the current object's location in the Galaxy is shown. You can also show the Galaxy view from the highlighted list's icon along the bottom of the chart. In this case, all objects in the highlighted list are show in the view. In either case, if an object is outside the current field of view, a blue line is drawn in the direction it will be found.

    Share: Takes a snapshot of the view that may then be shared with others through Email, Facebook, iCloud Photo Sharing, etc.

    Auto Zoom: If the selected object is outside the viewable area, this will will zoom out to make the object visible. If the selected object is very close to the Sun at the current zoom level, the command will zoom in to display the object better in relation to the Sun.

    More - Tap this button to bring up additional options, including:

    Show Spiral Arm Labels: Labels the various spiral arms in the Galaxy.

    Show Constellation Sectors: Divides the Milky Way galaxy in the neighborhood of the Sun into sectors, where each sector corresponds to the Milky Way constellation you would see when looking in that direction. Showing the constellation sectors allows you to better understand which part of the Milky Way galaxy you are looking at when observing within a particular Milky Way constellation.

    For example:

    When looking at the Milky Way in Sagittarius and Scorpius, you are looking at the next spiral arm inward from the Earth toward the galactic core at galactic longitude 0°. This spiral arm is appropriately called the Sagittarius Arm.

    Cygnus lies at 90° galactic longitude and looks lengthwise along our own spiral arm which is called the Orion Spur. This is looking in the direction toward which the Galaxy is rotating.

    When viewing the Milky Way in Auriga and Orion you are looking directly away from the galactic center, back through our own spiral arm. This is in the direction of galactic longitude 180°.

    Finally, the southern hemisphere constellation, Vela, lies near galactic longitude 270° and looks down an inter-arm gap in the direction from which the Galaxy is rotating as a whole.

    Center On Sun: Centers the view on our Sun's location in the Galaxy.

    Center On Selected Object: Centers the view on the selected object's location in the Galaxy.

    Reset: Resets the view to a zoom level where the whole Galaxy is visible.