Image generated with Starry Night Pro 6.
Much can be said about the old hunter Orion. To Central New York observers, it had (until very recently) been the case that Orion made his way across the Night Sky during the coldest and least hospitable (to most nighttime observers) months of the year. Conditions would keep observers in hiding from him (some of the best CNY observers I know would risk surgical strikes on the Orion Nebula with their fastest to set-up and tear-down equipment). The abbreviated winter of 2011/2012 and reasonably early start of the SAS observing season have provided us with excellent opportunities in the past few months to make Orion The Hunter now the hunted. The mid-April observing session will be the last “official” opportunity to observe Orion before he disappears behind the Western horizon until the most nocturnal of us can next see him in our Eastern sky before sunrise in late August. I then take this opportunity to discuss Orion, one many CNY/SAS members may know the best by sight but may know the least by observing attention.
Given the importance of the use of these scores both in FASTQ and MAQ (for MAQ (for me), specifically using alignment quality scores from Illumina sequencing runs to monitor run and sample quality), I was a bit surprised to not find some complete work-up of the meanings, the scores, the glyphs coordinated to the scores, and the encoding interpretations of these scores in one location. The two (three) tables shown here hopefully provide a meaningful summary.
I should qualify that much of the background for this page was taken from four key places. First is the wikipedia entry for FASTQ. Second is the wikipedia entry for Phred quality score. Third is the Rosetta Stone of Phred Score interpretation in the form of the open access article: P. J. A. Cock, C. J. Fields, N. Goto, M. L. Heuer and P. M. Rice, “The Sanger FASTQ file format for sequences with quality scores, and the Solexa/Illumina FASTQ variants.” Nucleic Acids Research, 2010, Vol. 38, No. 6, 1767–1771 doi:10.1093/nar/gkp1137. Fourth is seqanswers.com in various forms.
Constellation Map generated with Starry Night Pro 6.
Of all of the Constellations that have taken human forms through history, Aquarius the Water Bearer may have the most varied professional background. His career peaked early in human history, with the Babylonians identifying Aquarius as GU.LA, their identifier for the god Ea, Ea derived from the Sumerian god Enki. To put that into perspective, the stars of Aquarius have been recognized as a Constellation since, at the very least, 1200 B.C. (the dates of the oldest known Babylonian star catalogues. As these catalogues borrow heavily from Sumerian mythology, we can only assume his actual origins step significantly further back, although records are difficult to come by). His demotion to water bearer comes with his adoption by the Greeks and his inclusion into their mythology, with his aquatic status in Greek mythology traveling, albeit likely by land routes, as far East as India. Then, like a leisure suit-clad Pat Boone on his pre-heavy metal reinvention, Aquarius found considerable recent fame as a disco star. When one starts at the top, it would seem that careers, like water, run downhill (although he may not yet be ready for the Chinese Constellation Fenmu, the tomb composed of the upper-left set of his stars). Its importance to several cultures throughout history is of little surprise, as this collection of stars, like the other 11 members of the Zodiac, lies along the ecliptic, the perceived path of the Sun over the course of the year.