We are presenting a poster about the Milky Way Project at the 217th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This gives us a great opportunity to outline the current status of the project. You can download the poster as either a PDF (2.5 MB) or a big JPEG (14 MB).
During the first four weeks of the project, 10,000 volunteers drew more than 385,000 bubbles, galaxies, clusters and other objects using the site. Volunteers measure the location, diameter, eccentricity and thickness of bubbles, as well as marking any gaps in the bubble’s structure. For other objects, just the location and approximate angular size are recorded.
The public’s individual drawings of objects, such as bubbles, are combined and grouped to produce ‘clean’ catalogues. When the project is complete, both the original and cleaned catalogues will be made public. At present there are over 100,000 individual bubble drawings, which reduce down to about 60,000 when cleaned. If we consider only those instances where more than 3 individuals agreed that a bubble was present, we have found approximately 5,000 bubbles.
Similarly, after cleaning the data, we have found over 1,000 infrared dark clouds, 596 compact bubbles, 65 star clusters and 5 galaxies.
I’m glad to say that since printing the poster the numbers have already changed – this is because the site continues to have over a thousand images processed each day. We’re now at nearly 115,000 bubbles drawn and 91,000 images served. Check out the main site for the latest figures.
So after adding in a third entry a couple of days ago, it rapidly ran ahead of the pack on the last day of voting. We had more votes on the final day than in all the time leading up to the decision. But we have a name: The Milky Way Project. Stellar Zoo was a close second, and both beat Milky Way Zoo by some way.
Over the next few days, this blog will change from ‘Project IX’ to ‘The Milky Way Project’. We have a new twitter feed @milkywayproj and eventually the URL for this blog will also change. I’ll give plenty of warning about that.
The following two weeks involve a big code push here in Oxford, to try and create a beta site for you to try out. There will be more updates soon with a sample of the first science interface on its way…
[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]