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Galaxy Zoo 2 now live!


Remember “Galaxy Zoo”? The online project to classify images of galaxies, that was the brainchild of Chris Lintott – more on him here soon! – that attracted over 200,000 “zookeepers” a coupkle of years ago? Well, it was a huge success – and now Galaxy Zoo 2 is with us, and EVERYONE is invited to join in the fun!

In Galaxy Zoo 1 people were asked to just classify galaxies by their basic type – spiral, elliptical or irregular. This time the classification process is a little tougher and more demanding – there are additional questions about the tightness of any spiral arms present, how prominent the galaxy’s central bulge is, etc. That means if you sign up to the Zoo you’ll see fewer galaxies, but you’ll be doing much Better Science, much more Worthwhile Science by helping Chris and his team profile the surveyed galaxies better.

Last time round people were competing toย  classify as many galaxies as possible, and it got very, very competitive. I’m not sure if that’ll happen this time, I kind of hope not because it put me off a little bit, I have to admit. We’ll see. What is certain is that, like last time,ย one of the main appeals of GZ2 is simply not knowing what you’re going to see when your next galaxy appears on your screen. Will it be an amorphous blurry blob, with no detail? Or will it be a glorious grand spiral, with nebulae-painted spiral arms and a beautiful yellow-white core?

What is absolutely certain is that like last time if you start galaxy-classifying you’ll soon become quite addicted, and your planned “5 minute go” will transform into an hour or two of Lost Time. So, go, sign up to GZ2, and have fun… and do some of what the popular media is now calling “Citizen Science”.

Galaxy Z00 2


2 Responses

  1. We had a very heavy first day. I was using during the first few hours before the traffic ramped up. Under normal conditions it has a very nice responce. Those of us who were beta testers have stayed off since people have started responding to the press releases and interviews to give all the bandwidth to new users. We are available for questions on the forum (requires a separate registration).
    As far as competitiveness, I think anything like this will have some participants who are competitive. We as a community insist on civility on the forum and try to be helpful.
    Curtis W. Garrett, Indiana, USA
    member of Galaxy Zoo
    These statement are mine. I am not a spokesman for Galaxy Zoo.

  2. Hey Curtis, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on Cumbrian (not “Cambrian!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Sky, appreciate you dropping by. I hope you didn’t take my comment re competitiveness as criticism; I’ve been with GALAXY ZOO since the original launch, and on the Big Day of GZ1’s launch I went onto my local radio stations to promote it, and have promoted it tirelessly ever since on my various blogs and at astronomy society meetings I’ve talked to in my Outreach work, and as a friend of Chris Lintott I wish you nothing but success. I’ve been classifying galaxies on G2 since the launch, and love it all over again! ๐Ÿ™‚ My comment re the competitive thing wasn’t a criticism, just an observation: at one point in GZ1 I just started to feel a bit like some people were just trying to log as many clicks as possible to be “Number 1”. Human nature, I guess. It was just a personal thing with me. I know the forum is run very well and is very civil. Keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ™‚

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