The Galaxy Zoo project has evolved once again. Galaxy Zoo: Hubble is the new incarnation of the Zooniverse’s fantastic citizen science project. The latest Galaxy Zoo project continues to allow the public to help astronomers with real scientific research by getting to to visually classify galaxies online. I should probably state here that I now work at Zooniverse HQ and so I may be a little biased!
The original Galaxy Zoo and Galaxy Zoo 2 both used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and recently, after reaching 60,000,000 classifications those projects began to wind down. The timing was excellent though as it allows Galaxy Zoo: Hubble to launch today, for the 20th anniversary of the space telescope. Images of galaxies taken using the legendary space telescope are there for everyone to classify and I recommend that you go and do just that.
A lot of the fainter galaxies look like those seen in the Sloan catalogue from Galaxy Zoo 2 (this is a good sign, since we don’t want galaxies to change wildly depending on what telescopes we use!) however in amongst these there are some real gems to be discovered in the Galaxy zoo: Hubble data. I just found a couple in my first tentative classifications, I’ve shown them here to whet your appetites.
The image at the top of this post was taken during Servicing Mission 4, just after the Space Shuttle Atlantis captured Hubble with its robotic arm in May 2009, beginning the mission to upgrade and repair the telescope. Thanks to that upgrade, Hubble will continue to provide amazing images and science for many years.
You can follow Galaxy Zoo on Twitter, read the Galaxy Zoo blog or – more importantly – go and classify some galaxies!
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