I am curious as to what star charts would look like, if instead of scaling the size of dots by apparent magnitude, the size of dots were scaled by actual distance from earth.

It would be nice to preserve familiar constellation lines for reference.

For starters, something like this, but with dots sized by distance might be fun.

enter image description here

A detailed chart analogous to Uranometria 2000.0 might be very interesting, for side by side comparisons:

enter image description here

Can anyone provide some sample charts like I’m looking for?

Update: Following up on James K’s comments, I imagine these star chart would use larger dots for closer stars, and that in the initial stab at this, only stars that are visible to the naked eye (6.5 magnitude) would be charted. (Although I also imagine side-by-side charts of the Uranometria 2000.0 sample page would be interesting too, up to 9.75 magnitude).

  • $\begingroup$ Issue: does "big" mean close or does "big" mean far? Either way, there are lots of stars that are below naked eye magnitude but "close", and there are lots and lots of stars that are below naked eye magnitude but "far". $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Apr 3, 2022 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ Bigger issue: what does this achieve? What is the point of this proposed map? $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Apr 3, 2022 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ To expand on the comment by @JamesK we have the ability to display and examine star data on easy to access computers now in 3D views and I'm not seeing a modern purpose for such a chart. I can't really see any function beyond curiosity. It's almost like a chart where every star has the same magnitude. $\endgroup$ Apr 3, 2022 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ @James K: I can imagine that a chart like this would provide a means to appreciate the vast distances in space, somewhat analogous to how a long line of streetlights fades into the distance. $\endgroup$ Apr 3, 2022 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I think would have to compress distances... Eta Carina is 1500 times further away than proxima centuari, but much brighter in the sky. It's hard to grasp such distances. 3c237 (a quasar, not a star) is 600000000 times further than Prox. Cen. but about the same apparent brightness....can you deal with such differences with only different sized blobs. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Apr 3, 2022 at 20:38


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