Ann wrote:Just one question - couldn't you find a way to fit my favorite cluster, the Pleiades, into all that blue stuff of the Earth and the surroundings of the space telescope?
Alas, I don't have control over which images the mosaic software uses, except in the aggregate. There are 5,504 thumbnails in the folder I told it to use -- all, as I understand it, of the APOD images up to a few days ago. So there's no doubt that the Pleiades is in there available for use.
The software analyses these tile images before starting to create a mosaic. It also analyses the source image (the one I'm making a mosaic of) and putting that all together, it then decides which tile images will best fit the needs of the source image given the grid size I specify. Some tiles are chosen for their overall colour, and some for their pattern (see the 'eyelid' in the closeup of the Bob 'n' Jerry image, for example.) Tiles may be used more than once in an image, under certain constraints to prevent unwanted obvious patterns. You can see an example of that along the horizon in the Hubble image. I believe the software also selects within a tile image to get what it needs. So if the tile image is rectangular and I've specified square tiles, it will select a square within the rectangle which gives it the most useful part of the tile image.
A search of APOD for "Pleiades" gives 75 hits, so I'd be surprised if at least one of them was not included in this mosaic. But where it might be I can't tell. Maybe we should have a "Where's the Pleiades?" contest.
I should give credit where due. I'm using Mazaika
in my iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, running Mac OS X v10.6.3. The software works well within my 3 GB of RAM, without my having to Quit other programs to make room for it. Currently it's in demo mode; I'll be buying it to get its full capabilities.
Coming up: Jupiter!