This year, user and development activity around Shape has been so intense that we would like to thank all the users for applying Shape. We also highlight some of the contributions that they have made to astrophysics.
A major new release of Shape has introduced a number of new features, a new interface and an extensive online manual.
The frontpage of the ShapeSite shows a visual summary of the papers that have been published or accepted for publication this year. It nicely shows the high level of acceptance that Shape has received by now. The type of problems that have been worked on range from morpho-kinematic models of simple to very complex planetary nebulae, CO-emission in pre-planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, the fast expansion of novae and physical scattering calculations in the Red Rectangle.
The application of Shape to the analysis of internal proper motion measurements of a planetary nebula has lead to the development of a brand new kinematic mapping technique called criss-cross mapping.
Here are a few examples of conclusions that have been drawn from some models:
Munari et al. have shown that the evolution of the H profile of the very fast nova V2672 Oph "suggests that the overall structure of the ejecta is that of a prolate system with polar blobs and an equatorial ring".
Meaburn et al. used Shape to model the very peculiar "Honeycomb" nebula and showed that its apparent structure is likely due to a fortuitous orientation of hydrodynamical instabilities of a supernova remnant.
This year has also seen the first publication based on the automatic 3D reconstruction capabilities of Shape. This result by Nakashima et al. has made it onto the cover of the Astronomical Journal.
The number of papers published or accepted in a year has risen considerably. Refereed journals have already published 6 papers and 4 are in press. The Asymmetrical Planetary Nebulae V conference in England saw 9 contributions, 5 oral and 4 posters, with Shape models and reconstructions. Further poster contributions were presented at the HST 3 meeting in Venice, Italy, and at the Eurographics conference in Sweden.
There is also an undergraduate thesis that was completed this year by Sergio González from Puebla, Mexico. He studied how non-homologous expansion of planetary nebulae changes the morphology during their evolution, taking advantage of the animation module of Shape.
Many Shape models have been produced by students for their thesis work. We hope that Shape will help many more young, and not so young, astronomers to understand what is going on in the objects that they are working on.
For the list of papers that contain results obtained with Shape see the publications page.
We wish you a happy 2011!
Nico and Wolfgang