First Paper: A Galaxy of Words

The first Milky Way Project science paper has been submitted! We sent off our manuscript to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society just yesterday – exactly one year since the launch if the project. Now we wait for the process of peer-review to get kick-started. Our paper will be sent to an independent referee – another researcher in astronomy – and usually we would then get some corrections along with a thumbs-up or -down for publication in the journal.

In the field of star formation it is customary to wait until the referee has given us the OK before we publish a pre-print of the paper online. So we will keep you posted on progress – including posting a PDF of the paper when its time – as we move toward publication.

In the meantime, as part of the Zooniverse advent calendar we’ve produced a slightly different version of the paper for publication right now! This ‘word galaxy’ is a representation of the content of the paper – but in beautiful spiral form. The most common words in the paper were MWP (214 times) and bubbles (283) so they are largest. The words scale all the way down to disk (3 times) and ‘tend’ (2 times).

Have fun exploring the paper in this form until we can get the real one to you in the next few weeks.

[Download large version 2.6 MB]

Bubbles on the Tree

We’re often told how festive the images in the Milky Way Project look – so for the Zooniverse Advent Calendar we’ve made some festive MWP tree decorations. You can download these template PDF files (first, second, third), follow the simple instructions, and you’ll have a star-formation laden tree this year!

To create your Milky Way Project bauble, you need to cut-out each of the four images and then fold each one in half (as below).

Using a glue stick, stick the four sections together to form the bauble – remembering to insert a bit of ribbon, paper or string to hang the decoration onto the tree.

Printing the images onto good quality paper or card will produce a better result – but there you have it: citizen science on your Christmas tree!