Galactic Guides


Astronomers sometimes use the galactic coordinate system to pinpoint the location of an object in the Milky Way Galaxy. Galactic latitude has its baseline of 0 along the plane of the galaxy (the center of the Milky Way) with poles of 90 in Coma Berenices and -90 in Sculptor. Galactic longitude's 0 hours is located in the direction of the center of the galaxy (in Sagittarius), increasing in an easterly direction.

  • Note: The Galactic guides button will be inactive if none of the ecliptic guides have been selected.

Options for the Galactic Guides

To turn on or off additional guides: a reference plane, and the galactic meridian, equator and poles, open the Options dialog by selecting "Options..." from the Settings menu, then pick "Galactic Guides" from the popup menu. Alternatively, click the options button for Galactic Guides in the Display palette.

Show Galactic Guides: This checkbox performs a similar function to the Guides/Galactic Guides menu command. Check this box if you want galactic guides shown. Note: The checkbox will be dimmed unless one of the galactic guides has been selected.

Hide While Scrolling: To improve performance, you can check this box so that galactic guides are turned off while scrolling.

Galactic Poles: When checked, the galactic poles are displayed.

Reference Plane: When checked, a galactic reference plane is displayed, with the Sun at its center.

Equator and Meridian

Galactic Equator: When checked, the galactic equator is displayed.

Galactic Meridian: When checked, the galactic meridian is displayed.

Set Color: By clicking on this button, you can select a new color for the galactic equator and galactic meridian guides.

Grid: Checking this box turns a galactic grid on, and allows you to adjust how the grid is displayed. Checking the "Number Grids" checkbox will display the galactic latitude and galactic longitude number of each gridline.

Set Color: By clicking on this button, you can select a new color for the galactic guides.

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Page last modified on: January 25, 1999