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A data cube is simply a three dimensional stacking of all the channel maps. Rather than seeing them sequentially as in the channel map movie, they are all visible at once through visualizing the cube as in the above movie. Being a compilation of channel maps, a data cube shows gas moving at all velocities, throughout the entire object. Two of a datacube's axes represent the spatial dimensions, while its third axis represents velocity.
Here's a movie depicting a data cube computed from observations of S106, a star forming region about 2,000 light years away. The S106 datacube representation gives astronomers a rapid means to understand what parts of S106 are moving in which directions, and with what speeds, without having to read literally thousands of lines of data.
QuickTime (1.4 MB); MPEG (868K); Thumbnail (28K); Caption and Credits
Radio astronomer, Dick Crutcher, talks about this region, what it took to compute the datacube and the overall goals of this research.
Dick Crutcher, NCSA/Univ. of Illinois, on-camera
QuickTime Movie (1.7 MB); Sound File (994K); Text
In another example of a data cube, the centimeter emissions from the center of the Milky Way are featured below. Note that when the image is viewed head-on, it corresponds to the 2-D representation (Sgr A West: 6 centimeter image) of the galactic center obtained with the Very Large Array and presented elsewhere in this exhibit.
QuickTime (1.6 MB); MPEG (984K); Thumbnail (26K); Caption and Credits
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