Project Update


We are presenting a poster about the Milky Way Project at the 217th Meeting and Green Coffee 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.

5 thoughts on “Project Update”

  1. I’ve been in trouble many times at work for “taking too many breaks”. I just love doing this, even when I’m supposed to work lol!

  2. Thanks for making and publishing that poster – it’s always great to know about progress being made, and also really nice an encouraging when I think that even a tiny proportion of bubbles and markings were contributed by me 🙂

    what would be nice (if it is possible) would be to take that “clean” data, eg where 3 or more people marked something in the same way, and to something like the following:

    1) to pick 1 random image (as shown to the participants)
    2) to identify 1 object for each type (bubble, dark nebula, star cluster etc) which was marked by multiple people
    3) to email those people with the name of the image and link to it, along with some quick statistics:

    Dear (participant name)
    “please click here to see the xyz image
    you marked area x with a dark neubular, and another 120 participants also marked it in a similar way.” 🙂

    links to the picture, along with blog for further discussion
    (image could be displayed in a surrounding table to show grid references, so that you can simply re-use the same images)

    just some thoughts,
    email replies welcome.

  3. Its great that zooniverse is growing big everyday and i’m very much interested in finding out and in drawing the clusters bubbles etc.

  4. Combined PCs beat 2nd fastest supercomputer

    Washington: Legions of personal computers (PCs), engaged in a project to map the Milky Way, beat the world’s second fastest supercomputer in sheer performance.

    Before taking the research to BOINC, Newberg worked with Malik Magdon-Ismail, associate professor of computer science, to create a stronger and faster algorithm for her project, says a Rensselaer Polytechnic release.

    Together they greatly increased the computational efficiency and set the groundwork for what would become the much larger MilkyWay@Home project.

    The above is just a small clipping from news article read in my favourite site Veiw Best Ads last year, i.e; 17th of Feb 2010 – and happended to go over it today again, made me to search using Bing search on updates today, and wow! what milestone of achievements have been made, it is wonderful knowing picturesque updates on The Milky Way Project – Let Zooniverse Unfold!


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