Astronomers: Has an APOD image ever helped your research?

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Astronomers: Has an APOD image ever helped your research?

Postby RJN » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:21 pm

This thread is intended for publishing astronomers. My question is: has a previously unknown image that you first saw on APOD ever helped to advance your research? I have heard a few anecdotal stories of this happening, but I am wondering if there are cases that I don't know about. One scenario might be a deep and wide image taken by a talented amateur astrophotographer that shows some aspect of a galaxy or nebula that was unknown to you and that you were able to use subsequently in your research. Surely other scenarios are possible. I am interested in accumulating a few cases of these to discuss as future astronomy meetings in an attempt to show that APOD has shown some value in the citizen science realm. To contribute, please either respond to this post or send an email to "nemiroff at". Thanks to anyone who can contribute!


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Re: Astronomers: Has an APOD image ever helped your research

Postby Markus Schwarz » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:23 am

This APOD did inspire me and my colleagues to write this paper published in the peer-reviewed Modern Physics Letters A. We even included the APOD in the references. Us not being astronomers, it is maybe no surprise that this was an APOD not showing a field of stars or nebulae. Therefore, I support that APOD once in a while shows pictures not strictly belonging to the field of astronomy but features our fascinating universe.

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Re: Astronomers: Has an APOD image ever helped your research

Postby geckzilla » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:48 am

Hey, that's great, Markus. That's actually a two-for-one-special showing how APOD can inspire such things and that it is also beneficial to sometimes include interesting pictures that are either vaguely or not really related to astronomy. This is an interesting topic and I look forward to reading hopefully many more posts.
Last edited by geckzilla on Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed idiom to a more appropriate one.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.


Re: Astronomers: Has an APOD image ever helped your research

Postby hoohaw » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:53 am

No. But I was, and I am, absolutely flabbergasted by showing star formation in gases stripped from a spiral galaxy. I attend a lot of talks on star formation at the Space Telescope Science Institute here in Baltimore, but no speaker yet has mentioned this incredible experiment performed by Mother Nature showing star formation in gas that has been stripped from a galaxy! Surely it is a Rosetta stone for the star formation process!

Maciej Zapior

Re: Astronomers: Has an APOD image ever helped your research

Postby Maciej Zapior » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:20 pm

I analyzed the prominence shown in the APOD: in my invesigation.


It was a good context image showing the fine structure of the prominence. As the APOD photo has a very good resolution, it inspired me to deep search of so called blobs (or knots) in the prominence. The results of the investigation may be found here:

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