Deep Space Find: Ethereal Font Composed of Real Galaxies

Out of the hundreds of billions of galaxies out there, there are untold thousands that look like something else. Thanks to some very dedicated citizen scientists, you can now write your name – or anything else you choose – in galaxies. Volunteers at Galaxy Zoo spent years classifying over a million galaxies, many of which bore a surprising resemblance to letters.┬áDr. Steven Bamford, a researcher at the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Astronomy and Particle Theory, put these letter-like galaxies together into a totally stellar font.

Some of the letters require a little imagination to see their resemblance, but overall the font is pretty impressive. The My Galaxies website lets you create your own messages written in the stars. If your message doesn’t look quite right, you can hit the “Try a New Combination” button to try again. In the grand picture of the universe, not many galaxies resemble recognizable shapes. But according to Dr. Bamford, when you have a million galaxies and a group of energetic volunteers you can find just about anything in those galaxies.

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See more in Space & Time or under Science. September, 2012.