Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Milky Way Galaxy

Our public planetarium programs on January 19th were entitled "Galaxies!" Among the many interesting topics we tackled, we had a lot of fun exploring our place in the Milky Way Galaxy. As a follow-up to the program, we wanted to share a couple of links with you, and share a new, related, citizen science project that has emerged since the programs last week.

In the programs, we showed Axel Mellinger's fantastic mosaic of the sky as seen from all sides of the Earth (image inserted on the left). It beautifully displays our view of the Milky Way Galaxy as we see it from the inside. We encourage you to explore this image at its full resolution, and learn about how he made the image at his Milky Way Panorama 2.0 site.

Today, astronomy enthusiasts have some wonderful ways to actually help with many areas of astronomy research! Check out the Zooniverse web site to search for planets, identify craters on the moon, and so much more! The project we highlighted in the planetarium programs this month was the Galaxy Zoo.

If you are interested in actually helping to explore our Milky Way Galaxy, you're in luck! In December they started another research area using Spitzer Space Telescope images called The Milky Way Project. Anyone can help! Explore cool images, draw the bubbles that you see in the photo, and help contribute to science! How cool is that!

[adding another resource: 6/8/11]
Similar to the Mellinger mosaic of the sky, the new Photopic Sky Survey has some incredible differences. It's a beautiful 5,000 mega-pixel image! Zoom in and out, scan around, and be sure to click the "i" button to add the labels. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. BTW, I just came across an article about proposing a change to how astronomers would classify large scale objects like galaxies. It's called "What IS a Galaxy?".
    http://www.universetoday.com/82742/what-is-a-galaxy-vote-now/

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