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A.4.9.2 Sky Axes Control

The Axes control () for the sky plot window has the following tabs:

Projection tab of the sky Axes control

Projection tab of the sky Axes control

The Projection tab controls how the sky position coordinates are projected onto the screen.

Projection
Selects the sky projection to use. The options are Sin, Ait for Aitoff and Car for Plate Carée. Sin is rotatable, the other two are essentially flat all-sky projections.
Reflect longitude axis
Determines whether longitude increases left to right or right to left.
View Sky System
Determines the sky coordinate system in which the data positions will be viewed. This interacts with the Data Sky System selected in the Positions tab of the table layer control for data coordinates; supplied data points are projected from the data system to the view system before being plotted. If you have (for instance) data in equatorial coordinates that you want to view in galactic coordinates, then select the Data Sky System as Equatorial and the View Sky System as Galactic. If the data and view systems are the same, it's OK to leave both as their defaults, even if they're not equatorial - the only effect that the chosen Data and View sky systems has is from the transformation between them.

Navigation tab of sky Axes control

Navigation tab of sky Axes control

The Navigation tab controls details of how the navigation works. It has the following option:

Zoom Factor
Controls the factor by which each zoom action zooms the plot. Moving this slider to the left/right makes the mouse more/less sensitive (one wheel click or dragging a fixed distance has more/less zoom effect).

Field Of View tab of the sky Axes control

Field Of View tab of the sky Axes control

The FOV (Field Of View) tab allows you to enter a sky position or object name and a radius and positions the view at that region. Filling in the fields and hitting Submit will reposition the sky view, but not vice versa; normal pan/zoom operations will not affect the content of this panel.

Object Name
If you fill this in with the name of a celestial object and hit the Resolve button, a Simbad query will execute to fill in the RA and Dec fields with its position.
RA/Dec
J2000 positions of the required field centre. These values can either be filled in by the object name resolution as described above, or by hand.
Radius
Gives the radius of the desired field of view.
Clear
Clears the fields in this tab.

Grid tab of the sky Axes control

Grid tab of the sky Axes control

The Grid tab controls how the sky coordinate axes appear.

Draw Grid
If selected, grid lines will be drawn on the plot.
Sexagesimal
If selected sky coordinate annotations of the grid will be in sexagesimal format, otherwise in decimal degrees.
Grid Colour
Selects the colour with which grid lines will be drawn.
Label Colour
Selects the colour in which axis label text will be written.
Grid Crowding
Use the slider to control how closely packed grid lines are on the axes.
Label Positioning
Controls whether and where the numeric annotations of the lon/lat axes are put. The default option Auto usually does the sensible thing, but other options exist to force labelling internally or externally to the plot region, or to remove numeric labels altogether.
Antialiasing
Controls whether grid lines will be drawn antialiased (smoothed) or not. This option does not affect exported plots.

Font tab

Font tab

The Font tab configures the font used for axis annotation. It also affects some other things like the legend.

Text Syntax
How to turn the text into characters on the screen. Plain and Antialias both take the text at face value, but Antialias smooths the characters. Antialiased text usually looks nicer, but can be perceptibly slower to plot. At time of writing, on MacOS antialiased text seems to be required to stop the writing coming out upside-down for non-horizontal text. LaTeX interprets the text as LaTeX source code and typesets it accordingly.
Font Size
Size of the font in points.
Font Style
Style of the font.
Font Weight
Whether the font is plain, bold or italic.


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TOPCAT - Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables
Starlink User Note253
TOPCAT web page: http://www.starlink.ac.uk/topcat/
Author email: m.b.taylor@bristol.ac.uk
Mailing list: topcat-user@jiscmail.ac.uk