Welcome to mw-plot’s documentation!

A handy python package to do plotting on a face-on/edge-on milkyway/skymap with matplotlib (https://matplotlib.org/) for static plots or bokeh (https://bokeh.org/) for interactive plots (bokeh module under develop).

You can set the center and radius of the plot anywhere on a milkyway galaxy image with galactic or galactocentric coordinates.

Both MW_bg_annotate.jpg and MW_bg_unannotate.jpg are modified from an images by NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech) Both images are 5600x5600px with resolution of 24.2 light years per pixel.

MW_edgeon_edr3_unannotate.jpg is modified from an images by ESA/Gaia/DPAC. The image is 6500x3250px with resolution of 15.38 light years per pixel generated by ESA Gaia eDR3.

mw_plot will fill pixels for region outside the pre-compiled images. No acknowledgement to mw_plot is required if you generate plots for your non-commerical publication, but you must acknowledgement the origin of the background images provided above.


To install via pip

pip install mw_plot

If something is not working properly, try to upgrade first and then report it as an issue

pip install mw_plot --upgrade

OR clone the latest commit of mw_plot from github and install

System Requirement

  • Python 3.8 or above
  • astropy 5.0 or above
  • Numpy 1.20.0 or above
  • Matplotlib 3.5.0 or above
  • Pillow 7.0.0 above
git clone --depth=1 git://github.com/henrysky/milkyway_plot
python -m pip install .  # add -e if you are developing


  • Henry Leung - Initial work and developer - henrysky
    Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto
    Contact Henry: henrysky.leung [at] utoronto.ca

Indices and tables