Some of you guys who have been following Wordout for awhile will remember Galaxy Zoo from a piece I did about a year ago. For the rest of you, who may not have heard of Galaxy Zoo, let me recap.
Galaxy Zoo is an internet project with the stated aim of classifying a million new galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Computers would do an unacceptable job at classifying galaxies, mainly because each is so unique. That’s why they’re recruiting anyone and everyone to help out. From the Galaxy Zoo Homepage:
“The simple answer is that the human brain is much better at recognizing patterns than a computer can ever be. Any computer program we write to sort our galaxies into categories would do a reasonable job, but it would also inevitably throw out the unusual, the weird and the wonderful. To rescue these interesting systems which have a story to tell, we need you.”
So there you have it. Computers can’t do it. They need us humans. Isn’t it nice to be needed?
Some Of The Most Beautiful and Bizarre Things You Will Ever See In 20,000 Words Or Less
If a picture is really worth a thousand words, well, then here is the motherload. Just look at this sample of pictures they want you to sift through! And they say they have a million of them! These are just a few that I found while classifying, and a few I found over at the old Galaxy Zoo Blog. Even though that blog is now defunct, there are still lots of photos there to be gawked at. If you like these, head over there for more eye candy.
Or better yet, head on over to Galaxy Zoo and check out the million or so treasures, just waiting there, to be discovered by you! Like the man says:
The universe, with its majestic star-cities, is indeed a wonderful place. – Sir Patrick Moore
Without further ado, I present just 20 reasons you should go there. Click on a thumbnail to view the full sized picture.
I am Jon, and I’m wondering. What are you still waiting for?
(photos courtesy of Galaxy Zoo 2007 and copyright by Sloan Digital Sky Survey)
Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web Site is http://www.sdss.org/.
The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.