M101 writeup

The M101 writeup is more than just another homework assignment, it is a holistic presentation of a research project that goes from raw data to scientific understanding. You should focus not only on getting the technical analysis correct, but also on framing the scientific background and previous work, presenting your analysis in a through and clear manner (written descriptively in words, not in math and code), and interpreting your results in the "big context" of galaxy evolution and how it fits in with other studies. Think of it as putting together a complete scientific story that describes not just your specific analysis, but shows also how it fits into and contributes to the overall context of astronomical research on spiral galaxies.

Paper Format:
The format for your writeup should be that of an Astrophysical Journal paper. The following elements are necessary (page lengths refer to single spaced 12-point font, with 1-inch margins):
1. Title/author
2. Abstract: a short paragraph summarizing the goals, results, and scientific implications of your project.
3. Introduction: ~ 1.5-2 pages of text, giving the scientific context: what is it that you are studying, why is it scientifically important, what have other similar studies shown, and how your project will address the scientific questions.
4. Data and Analysis: ~ 2 pages of text, describing the details of the imaging data and how you processed the raw images into the final product.
5. Results: ~ 2-3 pages of text describing quantitative results of the data analysis. Specific things you should describe here:
6. Discussion: ~ 2 pages of text  discussing the implications of your results. In particular, what do the morphology, surface brightness profile, and color profile tell you about the stellar populations in M101 and the galaxy's evolution history? Think about things like the star forming history of the galaxy, the environment of the galaxy, how it compares to other spiral galaxies (either individual spiral galaxies or spiral galaxy populations in general).
7. Conclusion/Summary: ~ 0.5 page of text, summarizing your results and conclusions.
8. References: A listing (ApJ style) of references you've cited in your paper. You should have ~ 12-15 references from refereed scientific journals or monographs (not textbooks, educational websites, or popular magazines).

Analysis Code:
You should also upload your jupyter notebook in which you've constructed the surface brightness profile, and done the fits and calculations. This should be completely separate from your writeup, and there should be no code in your actual paper.

Notes and suggestions:

Research Starting Points: