DATABASES: Denizens of Deep Space

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Science  02 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5582, pp. 743
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5582.743b

NASA's Extragalactic Database bulges with vital stats on some 4.7 million objects outside the Milky Way, including other galaxies, quasars, and nebulas such as the gaudy Ring Nebula. Its waves of glowing matter are billowing from a star that detonated thousands of years ago. Compiled by the Infrared Processing and Data Center in Pasadena, California, the storehouse supplies information such as position in the sky, radial velocity, and redshift, a measure of how fast the galaxy or quasar is fleeing from us that indicates its age. You can dredge up images and references and plot the spectrum of energy beamed by an object into space. Aimed at professional astronomers, the site also features a glossary and a calculator that can correct an object's redshift for galactic motion.

Looking for something closer to home? This collection from the Centre de Données Astronomiques in Strasbourg, France, houses similar data for stars, supernovas, and comets within our galaxy.

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