Galaxy classification by the crowd

Galaxy Zoo is a cool site that gets people to classify thousands of telescope photos of distant galaxies. You get some quick training, pass a test and then start classifying galaxies for them.

From the site:

The project harnesses the power of the internet – and your brain – to classify a million galaxies.
You’ll view parts of the Universe that literally no-one has ever seen before (the photos are taken by a robot and analysed by a computer).

The idea is that if real people are doing the classifications then:

  • They will get a pretty accurate classification
  • Anything really interesting will be brought to their attention

Also, all this raises awareness which is pretty cool.

I classified a few – this is the most interesting one that I saw. See explanation below if you really want to.

No – that’s not a UFO it’s the path of a satellite.  It is a streak because the telescope has a long exposure to get as much light as possible.  It’s blue because the telescope actually takes 3 pictures – one for red, one for green, and one for blue and then combines them.  The satellite passed while the telescope was taking the blue frame.