Science News

Galaxy Zoo

Sat, 30th Jun 2007

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Ever wanted to take part in astronomy research, but donít have a telescope? Well now you can get a chance to look through some of the most beautiful astronomical images taken and make a contribution to science in a project called galaxy zoo.The Andromeda Galaxy

A galaxy is a cluster of billions of stars swirling through our universe. Our sun for example is part of a galaxy called the Milky Way. These galaxies come in a number of varieties. Our Milky way for example is a spiral galaxy, which is flattened like a pancake and has spiral arms containing bright young stars, hence the name a spiral galaxy. But there are other types too large amorphous galaxies with no spirals arms are called elliptical galaxies for example.

A robotic telescope called the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has been automatically taking photos of one million galaxies and these now need categorising. Unfortunately computers have turned out to be incredibly bad at doing this, which is where the Galaxy Zoo project comes in. Members of the public get to be the first human eyes to look at some of these galaxies in return for telling scientists what kind of galaxy you think it is. But donít worry if you think youíre not up to the task, full instructions are on the site and initial testing has actually shown that members of the public are better at it than scientists.

So if youíre keen then log on to www.galaxyzoo.org to sign up.

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