Galaxy Zoo: Hubble
The Galaxy Zoo project has evolved once again – now we are classifying galaxies from the incredible Hubble Space Telescope! Galaxy Zoo: Hubble is the new incarnation of the Galaxy Zoo project and it continues to allow you to help astronomers with real scientific research by asking you to to visually classify galaxies online.
The original Galaxy Zoo and Galaxy Zoo 2 both used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and recently, after reaching 60,000,000 classifications those projects began to wind down. The timing is excellent though and it allows Galaxy Zoo: Hubble to launch today, for the 20th anniversary of the space telescope. Images of galaxies taken using the legendary space telescope are there for everyone to classify and I recommend that you go and do just that.
A lot of the fainter galaxies look like those seen in the Sloan catalogue from Galaxy Zoo 2 (this is a good sign, since we don’t want galaxies to change wildly depending on what telescopes we use!) however in amongst these there are some real gems to be discovered in the Galaxy zoo: Hubble data. I just found a couple in my first tentative classifications, I’ve shown them here to whet your appetites.
Hubble has now been in orbit for 20 years. In that time it has helped us to understand the age of the Universe, to see more distant galaxies than ever before, to detect the presence of black holes in the centre of galaxies, to witness a comet collide with Jupiter, and much more!
Hubble has captured the imagination of people all around the world and it has given us some of the most iconic images of space that exists in the public consciousness. The image at the top of this post was taken during Servicing Mission 4, just after the Space Shuttle Atlantis captured Hubble with its robotic arm in May 2009, beginning the mission to upgrade and repair the telescope. Thanks to that upgrade, Hubble will continue to provide amazing images and science for many years.
So that’s enough chat from me – go and classify some Hubble galaxies!