A few years ago we posted an image of the sky which showed what people have been looking at. Here’s an update giving the distribution of pixel centers for the last 10,000,000 or so SkyView images (about the last 18 months). This doesn’t include images in Cartesian, TOAST, CobeCube or Aitoff projections, nor do we include data using Ecliptic coordinates. However these only account for about 0.5% of the images we generate, so they wouldn’t make much difference.
The image is an Aitoff projection in equatorial coordinates with a Galactic coordinate grid overlaid. The data were originally sampled into a Cartesian grid with 1 degree pixels and that was resampled into an Aitoff grid using the clip resampler.
The image is very different from what we saw a couple of years ago where there where lots of ‘tire tread’ patterns in the data as people retrieved data in very specific regions. This looks like it’s a fairer realization of what parts of the sky are interesting.
And what was the very top location? It’s not 0,0 — which is what I would have guessed — nor the Galactic center or pole. All of those have pretty high values too. But the single highest pixel count (with about 40,000 images generated) was for the pixel that includes the center of M31. A clear winner for the most popular object in the sky!