March 8 (UPI) -- The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has released the HSC Viewer to help the public access observations of the universe made by the Subaru Telescope and its Hyper Suprime-Cam.
"I developed this viewer so the general public can become familiar with the latest, extensive HSC data," astronomer Michitaro Koike said in a Thursday news release. "I hope you enjoy exploring the universe which the Subaru Telescope observes."
The Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program, a survey of the universe's billions of galaxies, is being executed by NAOJ in partnership with the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Japan, Taiwan's Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Princeton University in the United States.
HSC-SSP scientists have released two datasets collected as part of the survey. Now, scientists have offered the public an easier way to access and explore the data.
Subaru's Hyper Suprime-Cam is capable of capturing both optical and infrared images. When complete, the HSC-SSP survey will have collected astronomical data over the course of 300 nights.
"Since 2014, we have been observing the sky with HSC, a wide-field camera with high resolution," said Satoshi Miyazaki, lead HSC-SSP scientist. "We believe the data release will lead to many exciting astronomical results, from exploring the nature of dark matter and dark energy, as well as asteroids in our own solar system objects and galaxies in the early universe. Moreover, we hope that interested members of the public will also access the data and enjoy the real universe imaged by the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea."