Astro 8A: Project Galaxy Zoo! Helping Astronomers Classify Galaxies

Your Name:_______________________________

The Universe is, well, it's BIG. There's a LOT of galaxies out there. Telescopes these days are also... BIG. That means that there is more work out there than can be done by professional astronomers. Also, as good as computers can be programmed to do certain things, there are tasks which are always going to be better done by a real human brain - even yours! That's the motivation behind the creation of Zooniverse. A set of projects which involve volunteers such as yourself to find supernovae, classify galaxies, discover lunar geologic features, and inventory the contents of the Milky Way Galaxy, all using the latest satellite and ground-based telescopes. For the Spring, our lecture class is Astro 4 "Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe" and so I've selected the project "Galaxy Zoo" for inclusion in our Astro 8A class.

The Goal

Your task is to classify 50 galaxies in the Galaxy Zoo project. You'll log each of your 50 objects and how you classified them on this lab. Please note, that in this lab you will be making real observations which will go into a real database used by real astronomers in their work! So, don't be sloppy and blow off this project - you'll be hurting the work of real astronomy.

Let's Get Started

(2pts) You'll do your work online. It can be done at home or on the lab room computers and it doesn't matter whether you have a Windows or a Mac machine. You just need to have an internet connection. First you need to create an account and login password. Go to this website: Galaxy Zoo and click on the Register link, which will take you to where you can create your account. Write down here your account info so you won't forget it:

Now to read about the project and what you'll do, go to the training page, how to take part Here, take your time and give your answers to the tutorial galaxies so that you will know what you're doing when you get real galaxies to classify. When you've worked your way through that page to the bottom, then you're ready to start classifying real galaxies. Important: For each galaxy presented to you, click add to my favorites. Now, go here to begin and classify galaxies

Galaxy Zoo won't ask you, but I am going to ask you here. For each galaxy, give its Hubble classification. The photos below are representative. The size of the image below isn't important in the classification; it's the shape details. Sa's have relatively large central bulges and weak, tightly wound spiral arms, and arms get stronger and more loosely wound and bulges get smaller as well, going from Sa towards Sc. Same for barred spirals.

(20 pts) In addition to these categories shown here, your additional classification possibilities are: Irregular, Edge-on Disk, Merger, Star, Ring Galaxy. If the object is clearly an image defect, then don't include it here and just keep going until you have 20 objects which fit these classifications above.

# Galaxy Classification