Exotic star papers: a twitterbot

Yesterday, my good friend and research supervisor lent me his copy of the most recent Nature print (the one with the Laniakea supercluster on the front page), something quite unexpected, but very welcome. I think this is the first time I had the opportunity to read a physical copy of a top-notch scientific journal. So I eagerly started devouring the texts that caught my attention the most, but then I found an essay about how scientists have been dealing with the huge amount of papers that have been published as a constant stream of information on their favorite feed. I, personally, use to keep my interests in astronomy updated by reading some really cool sites like Universe Today, Bad Astronomy, The Daily Galaxy and others. The problem is that when I have a busy day and find no time to read the feeds, they quickly build up into hundreds of unread articles. And the more they build up, the less I feel like going through all of them to catch the most interesting ones. And I start to feel bad. The other problem is that these sources tend to post anything that touches astronomy, from cosmology to rocket science. And those might not be very linked to my main scientific/professional interests, which are mainly the formation and evolution of stars (especially exotic stars).

Well, a very interesting idea they presented on that essay was the use of a twitterbot which gathers papers from various sources and post links to them. I believe the pioneer on doing that is Casey Bergman, who created the twitterbot @fly_papers, which he calls an experiment on keeping up with scientific literature, more specifically about Drosophilae (also known as banana-flies here in Brazil). Inspired by that initiative, I have decided to create another twitterbot, but this one centered on my main interest: exotic stars (or exotic star-like objects, e.g., white dwarfs). I don’t know if there is already one about that, since it’s actually a bit difficult to look for one (searches tend to point out too many false positives). Without further ado, here you go, the first tweet from @xoticStarPapers:

So, if you want to know, it works by grabbing the most recent pre-prints from arXiv about the following keywords:

  • Massive star formation
  • Wolf-Rayet stars
  • Planetary nebulae central stars
  • Variable stars
  • Cataclysmic variables

And that’s what I have set up for now, let’s see how it goes. If you find an odd tweet, please don’t mind it, it’s most certainly a false positive caught by the feed (and will be deleted sooner or later). Anyway, I will probably tweak the feeds a little bit, add more keywords and sources in the future (maybe using only arXiv is too limiting?), so stay tuned. If you like it, please spread the word and feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions 😉

Featured image: Hubble Space Telescope image of nebula M1-67 around Wolf–Rayet star WR 124. Hubble Legacy Archive. Processing by Judy Schmidt. Please see this HubbleSite release for further information about this object.

Exotic star papers: a twitterbot

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