It's been quite a theme lately at Galaxy Zoo - because it affects the future of citizen science - exactly why people do so much work clicking and classifying. Believers in a mass work force, however, may be disappointed to discover that actually some of our greatest geniuses don't do very much work at all, but instead dedicate themselves to art.
I thought it was high time I opened a gallery here of Pure Artwork from the forum. I'm writing this while halfway through choosing the images and let me state at this time that it is monstrously difficult not to post practically all of them and run headlong into my upload limit. (Yes, Blogspot does have one. I may need to create my own website some day, but only when I've actually done something more impressive than moderate a forum and waffle a lot!)
(Update, a few hours later: I really did read all 96 pages of the Pure Art Thread this evening. It was a pleasure, and felt like no work at all.)
Anyway, the Pure Art thread is 96 pages long - and I recommend reading the entire thing, even if bit by bit. I have just found that I can go through 30 pages at a time without wanting to stop.
It has many heroes, but I think Alexandre and Caro are the greatest!
The SDSS images provide plenty of their own pure artwork. Alexandre called this imaging artifact "Asteroid Fall in the Ocean" . . .
. . . and this one "The rising of a red giant, with the reflection, on a telluric planet with methane ocean". But it's not all oceans.
Tweaks and brush strokes in Pure Art began lightly, with Alexandre using the invert button to show "NGC 5005 as never seen":
Jules introduced humorous irony with "Emptiness" . . . .
. . . and Pluk the mystical, with "I confess . . . I confess . . .":
Caro, the other artistic genius, landed upon the thread and soon procured for us a "Another view of my favourite star":
and Alexandre found a "Polarised Interstellar Cloud".
He also demonstrated some science with "Particle and Wave".
Jules found "Sunset Divided":
Milk_n_Cookies painted an amazing cloud . . .
. . . and Liz found some balloons . . .
Lemsgate's Sock soon became quite a favourite. As he put it, "I always knew there was a wormhole at the back of my sock drawer."
Of course, sometimes the Universe tells us what it thinks. "Colouring the Universe" by Alexandre.
It was Caro who started inserting several images at once as well as playing clever tricks with the imaging, in order to take the art to a new level:
Then she learnt about FITS, from an Object of the Day by Pat.
Citisue supplied us with some Psychedelic Art of most satisfactory colours:
This is one of my favourite ever pieces of artwork from Caro.
Caro again. I don't even know how to make these little squares. I presume they have some SDSS purpose.
She also discovered how to make a galactic drawing board. Is she a secret architect?
Ionnab discovered a starry toothbrush!
And by this point I really don't know what Caro's doing.
Among much more, Lizardly drew up some impressive geometric patterns:
Then Pluk outstripped nearly all the pictures in here with this . . . and guess what its caption was?
"People of Earth, your attention please,
This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council.
As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition."
But the Pure Art Thread isn't the only astonishing artwork taking place at the zoo. There's also a wonderful topic, again by Alexandre, titled "Just Draw me a Sheep". He draws the galaxies.
First we have the Loch Ness Monster . . .
Then the Snow Angel:
And finally - the Hula Hoop!
I'd better stop now before I do run out of megabytes! But I have the feeling that I will have to celebrate more Galaxy Zoo Artwork again. Especially as Stripe 82 is down and therefore I can't get at most of Caro's amazing work tonight - which is probably just as well!
I have always been terrifically inspired by the creativity of the Zooites, and have written three Objects of the Day about Galactic Art. Here they are:
The Journey of the SDSS Starship Enterprise
How the Milky Way was really created
Have fun and join the artists!