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RealSky is composed of the "RealSky" product, covering the northern sky, and "RealSky South," published slightly later and covering the southern sky. RealSky is on nine CD-ROMs (eight data discs and one software disc), and RealSky South uses 11 CD-ROMs (ten data discs and one software disc).
Major differences from DSS
- DSS files were compressed by a factor of 7, but RealSky files are compressed by a factor of roughly 100. RealSky consequently takes up less space, but the additional compression makes it inappropriate for use in photometry, and fine detail in the images is degraded.
- The DSS covers the whole sky in two colors, red and blue; but RealSky provides only red coverage of the northern hemisphere while RealSky South provides only blue coverage of the southern hemisphere.
- The DSS includes both long and short exposures for the area around the Andromeda Galaxy, but RealSky provides only the short exposure plate.
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