The Milky Way Project Talk

Different Color Schemes in Milky Way Project phase 1 and phase 2 images

  • gwolfchase by gwolfchase scientist

    Hi Folks -- I'm hoping to do a blog about this, but in the meantime I wanted to highlight a few important things about what the colors "mean" in Milky Way Project (MWP) images, and how these have changed in the second phase of the MWP. Since these are all images taken from infrared data, the colors we use in the images represent different "colors" (wavelengths) of infrared light. Unfortunately, this can make the nicknames we use for different types of objects very confusing! One example of this are the "EGOs", which are a particular focus of phase 2. "EGO" stands for Extended Green Object, however these are only green because in the current color scheme green is used as the representative color for a wavelength of 4.5 microns. In phase one images, "EGOs" would not have appeared green. Similarly, phase 1 "yellowballs" will not have the same appearance in phase 2. I recommend looking at the home page of the Spitzer GLIMPSE project, where there is a very nice discussion of "What do the colors mean?" In particular, check out the example of their bubble N049: Its appearance in the GLIMPSE/MIPSGAL color combination is similar to MWP phase 1, and its appearance in the GLIMPSE color combination similar to the color scheme being used now in phase 2. Note that you can find an EGO in one image and a yellowball in the other -- I hope this helps!


  • Drestat by Drestat

    This is amazing


  • rachaelballard96 by rachaelballard96



  • jules by jules moderator in response to gwolfchase's comment.

    Thanks! Really useful. 😃


  • cnogoy24 by cnogoy24

    Thanks for providing useful information!