Milky Way Project @ AAS


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Milky Way Project poster, presented at AAS #217 in Seattle, January 2011

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Milky Way Project @ AAS

  1. 1. V I S I T W W W. M I L K Y WAY P RO J E C T. O R G A N D W W W. Z O O N I V E R S E . O R G F O R M O R E I N F OTHE MILKY WAY PR JECT Kim Arvidsson (Adler Planetarium), Robert Benjamin (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Eli Bressert (ESO, University of Exeter), Ed Churchwell (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Chris Lintott (University of Oxford, Adler Planetarium), Sarah Kendrew (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg), Sarah Maddison (Swinburne University), Matthew Povich (Pennsylvania State University), Kevin Schawinski (Yale University), Reid Sherman (University of Chicago), Arfon Smith (University of Oxford), Robert Simpson (University ofOxford), Barbara Whitney (University of Wisconsin and Space Science Institute), Grace Wolf-Chase (Adler Planetarium, University of Chicago) and The Milky Way Project volunteers. The Milky Way Project is an online citizen science project from the Zooniverse (Galaxy Zoo, Moon Zoo). The website asks the public to locate and measure features in Spitzer data from the GLIMPSE and MIPSGAL surveys. It launched on December 7th 2010 and has already served up 80,000 images. EXAMPLE OF A STAR CLUSTER IN THE MILKY WAY PROJECT DATA EXAMPLE OF A GALAXY (LEFT) IN THE MILKY WAY PROJECT DATA ing any gaps in the bubble’s structure. For other objects, just EXAMPLE OF THE MILKY WAY PROJECT’S BUBBLE-DRAWING IN- the location and approximate angular size are recorded. TERFACE ON AN ACTIVE REGION OF THE GALAXY. The public’s individual drawings of objects, such as bubbles, are The infrared Spitzer GLIMPSE Survey mapped the midplane of combined and grouped to produce ‘clean’ catalogues. When the the Milky Way in exquisite detail (Benjamin et al., 2003; project is complete, both the original and cleaned catalogues Churchwell et al. 2009). Features such as bubbles (HII regions, will be made public. At present there are over 100,000 indi- supernova remnants - Churchwell et al. 2006; 2007) were ex- vidual bubbles drawings, which reduce down to about 60,000 tracted from these data through visual classification by a hand- when cleaned. If we consider only those instances where more ful of researchers. The Zooniverse aims to use GLIMPSE/ than 3 individuals agreed that a bubble was present, we have MIPSGAL data, and soon new GLIMPSE 360 data (Whitney et found approximately 5,000 bubbles. al. 2009), to produce definitive maps of such structures. Similarly we have found over 1,000 infrared dark clouds, 596 10,000 compact bubbles, 65 star clusters and 5 galaxies. 8,000 volunteers 6,000 A set of online tools have been developed that allow the public 4,000 to draw the locations and sizes of such objects onto the GLIMPSE/MIPSGAL data. The Milky Way Project utilizes the Zooniverse user base of over 370,000 volunteers to produce 2,000 detailed catalogues of bubbles (e.g. Churchwell et al. 2006), star clusters (e.g. Mercer et al., 2005), stellar bowshocks (e.g. Povich 0 et al. 2008; Kobulnicky, Gilbert and Kiminki 2010), galaxies (e.g. -1.0 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 Marleau et al., 2009) and other objects. It is our aim to pro- FIG 1: DISTRIBUTION OF BUBBLES WITH LATITUDE FOR THE MILKY duce catalogues of these objects that can be used to guide fu- WAY PROJECT AND THE ORIGINAL CHURCHWELL (2006) STUDY ture research. 385,000 drawings Figure 1 shows, in white, the distribution with galactic latitude for bubbles found during the first four weeks of The Milky Way Project. Also shown, in orange, are the same data for the bub- bles founds in the original Bubbling Galactic Disk paper EXAMPLE OF A BUBBLE IN THE MILKY WAY PROJECT DATA (Churchwell et al,. 2006), normalized to the peak of the fitted gaussian curve in their Figure 5. So far we have found approxi- During the first four weeks of the project, 10,000 volunteers mately 10 times as many bubbles, with a similar distribution in have drawn more than 385,000 bubbles, galaxies, clusters and latitude. other objects using the site. Volunteers measure the location, diameter, eccentricity and thickness of bubbles, as well as mark- F I N D U S O N T W I T T E R @ M I L K Y WAY P RO J