Saturday, April 4, 2009

More on Galaxy Zoo

I'm up to something like 230 galaxies now. My goal is to break at least 500 by the end of the 100 hours. It keeps a record of every galaxy you've looked at, plus it lets you select a list of favorites. Mine include a pair of very large elipticals, some nice spirals and ring galxies, a few with odd colored bits, two nice warped-disk galaxies, and one with big blue active starforming regions.

Most - perhaps 70% or more - are plain old yellow oval ellipticals, and at least another 25% plain spirals, flat disks, and boring irregulars. But every once is a while you get an absolutely stunning picture - perhaps a clean-edged spiral, or a nice perfect edge-on disk - that just floors you. It's very satisfying to get such a nice visual reward for a bit of intellectual work.

It's also neat to realize that since there are somewhere between 10 and 20 million galaxies classified so far, and many millions more to come, there is a very good chance that many of these images have never been seen before by human eyes. I might look at a yellow blob and be the only one of 7 billion on the planet who has seen it.

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