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Business - Written by on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 17:12 - 2 Comments

Galaxy Zoo enters new phase

After posting on Galaxy Zoo last week and then catching up with one of the project leaders today I learned that the next generation of this phenomenal citizen science project was just launched last night.


In the original Galaxy Zoo nearly 150,000 citizen scientists helped astronomers at Oxford and Yale classify roughly 1 million galaxies imaged by the robotic telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With so many galaxies, the researchers anticipated that it might take at least two years to complete the project. But within 24 hours of launch, the site was receiving 70,000 classifications an hour, and more than 50 million classifications were submitted during the first year.

In Galaxy Zoo 2 contributors have been equipped with more powerful classification tools and assigned more complex tasks than before, giving the researchers an even richer data set to work with. Project leads are hoping Zoo 2 will produce as much science – and as many surprises – as the original Galaxy Zoo did. My hunch is that it will likely generate much more.

For examples of the what the citizen scientists are up to see the results of their beta tests here. You can also follow the project on twitter.


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Feb 17, 2009 18:24

I’m always amazed at the power of networks. This is just a beginning of all this stuff and just thinking about the future instills me with great hope. The best Galaxy Zoo contributor should get a galaxy named after her.

Anthony Williams
Feb 21, 2009 8:43

Actually, something of that sort has already happened. A 25 year old school teacher from the Netherlands, Hanny van Arkel, discovered a new celestial object while classifying galaxies. The object was named after her: Hanny’s Voorwerp. Voorwerp is Dutch for “object.”

You read up on the story here.

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Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William's latest collaboration, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Learn more.

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