What did you during the blizzard? Well, with some time to kill, I decided to see if I could easily make a three-dimensional map of nearby stars. I was able to easily find coordinate data of nearby stars from the Digital Universe Atlas. After a bit of rescaling, the coordinates were ready for the Lego treatment. I visualized Sol, the five nearest stars, and a few others, such as Epsilon Eridani. The red squares are red dwarfs (although not so clear in the model, these dominate the nearby star count), yellow circles are stars similar to our own, and white circles are white stars on the main sequence. The “top” yellow piece is our sun:
As my wife has noted, this looks like a school project done by a third-grader, but I’m pleased. The full flavor isn’t given by a static image, but seeing how the stars are related in space is illuminating.