The biggest astronomical collaboration in history… just how big?

Chris and I are at the AAS meeting in St. Louis. Chris has been keeping up with the meeting on his blog, and we’ve both given talks about Galaxy Zoo. Everyone here is really excited about what we’ve been able to do with Galaxy Zoo – great job, everyone!

Last night, Chris and I held a Galaxy Zoo planning meeting while watching a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. Here is a beautiful photo of where we were – Busch Stadium in St. Louis (click for a larger version):

Busch Stadium during a baseball game

Photo from Flicker user pdsphil

Here is a beautiful photo of Busch Stadium 3.2 times over:Busch Stadium, piled on top of itself 3.2 times

Why is that significant?

We suddenly realized, looking up at the stadium, that this is how large Galaxy Zoo is.

The stadium holds about 45,000 people. At last count, Galaxy Zoo had 141,960 volunteers. Here are some other things that we are bigger than:

More suggestions?

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29 responses to “The biggest astronomical collaboration in history… just how big?”

  1. Rick Nowell says :

    Galaxy Zoo’s population is more than Torquay’s population (63,000) when added to its twin town in Germany, Hamelin, which has a population of 58,000;
    so, 121,000. There needs to be another 20,000 people before the Zoo’s population is bigger than that of Torquay, Hamelin and their Dutch twin, the town of
    Hellevoetsluis, which has a population of 40,000.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torquay
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamelin
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellevoetsluis

  2. EricFDiaz says :

    Are you sure about the University of Illinois. That’s my Alma Mater, and you do know we have three campuses…one in Champaign/Urbana, one in Chicago and another one in Springfield. You did remember to include those, didn’t you? LOL ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Alice says :

    Nearly twice the size of the total UK prison population, or the size of 70 secondary schools of a size the UK government approves of . . .

    Sorry about that. You know I’m as pleased as anyone!

  4. EricFDiaz says :

    Are you sure about the University of Illinois? That’s my Alma Mater, and you do know we have three campuses…one in Champaign/Urbana, one in Chicago and another one in Springfield. You did remember to include those, didn’t you? LOL ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. EricFDiaz says :

    Oops! Sorry about the double post. It was not deliberate. (forum blushing smilie)

  6. EricFDiaz says :

    It was Alice’s fault. Yeah! That’s the ticket! It was Alice’s fault! (rolling eyes smilie) LOL ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Alice says :

    So, is watching baseball interesting?

  8. Alice says :

    As my dad used to say right from when I was tiny: “It’s all your fault, Alice.”

  9. Alice says :

    I see we have Cafe II coming up. Well, 77 posts is an awful lot.

    Chris, just for once, I simply can’t keep up with your blog at all – and that’s after a day of stumbling to the doctor’s at 8.30 and spending the rest of the day trying to sleep. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  10. Alice says :

    P.S. I prefer forum smilies. That was supposed to be the “shocked” one.

    P.P.S. If you want to be Cafe-style and put lots of smileys, leave two spaces in between them. That way they will all come out.

  11. EricFDiaz says :

    Thanks for the tip, Alice. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Jules says :

    And back on topic…… apparently there are 142,000 members in the British Ramblers Association! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. NGC3314 says :

    I’m impressed at your fortitude – I just don’t get baseball and find it mind-numbingly boring. But what a great way to show the scope of the Galaxy Zoo effort! We could fit 2/3 of Zooites into our campus stadium… their total number exceeds not only the population of our city, but the whole county. This is also 750 times the number of co-authors in the first Sloan data-release papers (and we used to think that was a lot). It’s 15 times the total number of members in the International Astronomical Union. Farther afield in location if not thought, it’s also 292 time the number of human beings who have flown in space. If all classifiers for Galaxy Zoo were standing side to side looking at NGC 3314 – they’d probably be evenly split about the sense of rotation anyway.

  14. EricFDiaz says :

    1)Spitzer Captures Stellar Coming of Age in Our Galaxy

    The image depicts an area of sky 120 degrees wide by two degrees tall. It was unveiled today at the 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Mo.

    http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2008-11/release.shtml

    2) Two of the Milky Way’s Spiral Arms Go Missing

    “Spitzer has provided us with a starting point for rethinking the structure of the Milky Way,” said Robert Benjamin of the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, who presented the new results at a press
    conference today at the 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Mo. “We will keep revising our picture in the same way that early explorers sailing around the globe had to keep
    revising their maps.”

    http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2008-10/release.shtml

    As you can see from this post, Chris and Jordan are having more fun at the AAS conference than they been letting on. They’re not just watching baseball games.

    And, you thought I wouldn’t find out what’s been going on at the conference? LOL :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Jordan says :

    EricFDiaz: Mea culpa, that was just for the Urbana-Champaign campus, and similarly for Ann Arbor and Minneapolis. I was thinking “Wolverines, Illini, and Gophers.” I thought about including Ohio State at Columbus, but as a (American) football fan from SEC country, I try to ignore them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Alice: I’m not a big baseball fan, but I enjoy attending games in person for the social atmosphere. It’s also a great place to talk about work, because there are long breaks in the action, but there’s still enough action that it doesn’t feel like work.

    Jules: Great find! Once Chris explained to me what the British Ramblers association is, I found it really funny. I think that might be the best one so far. Other ideas?

  16. Rick Nowell says :

    What happened to my post, please? Surely it can’t have
    been mislaid! Rick

  17. Joseph K. H. Cheng says :

    Interesting and encouraging statistics. We are all proud to be Zooists as well as citizen ” scientists ” ( albeit amateurs ). Really glad to be associated with the Zoo.

  18. Infinity says :

    About the number of light years from the centre, that young stars are springing to life at the supposedly desolate fringes of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, M83.

    I like Jules’s stat though.

    Its also probably equal to the number of times we’ve put the kettle on in the cafe. Or the number of collective zooite fingernails that have been bitten whilst the forum is down.

  19. Rick Nowell says :

    Galaxy Zoo has more volunteers than the City of Oxford has people by around 7,000 (134,248). This is the population according to the 2001 census, but it is now
    reckoned that up to 10,000 international migrants also live there, so it is safe so that the City of Oxford has roughly the same number of people as GZ.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford

  20. Hanny says :

    @ Infie: :D!

  21. EricFDiaz says :

    LOL Jules. ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. EricFDiaz says :

    Oops! I meant, Infinity. Sorry about that. LOL :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ˜†

  23. EricFDiaz says :

    More zooites than there are astrophysicists in the entire world! I believe the count is around 6,000 astrophysicists worldwide–a rare breed. Correct me if I’m wrong. ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. Infinity says :

    Hey Eric, you and me in lonely orbit here today.

    And just to distort my own statistics, the kettle is on if I can offer you tea ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. EricFDiaz says :

    Thanks, Infinity. I would love some. ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. Alice says :

    Rick, when did you post your post? Sometimes longer ones take a while to show up, and short ones appear immediately. Do not ask me why; I only know this happened to me yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Lech says :

    Congratulations! Really fine effort. And the number over 140 000 heads is really impressive! As I was involved in preparing the Polish Gate to the GalZoo, it is interesting for me to know how many have registered through it. Would it be possible to obtain such information? Thanks a lot!

  28. Rick Nowell says :

    The number of Zooites is roughly the same as the popu-
    lation of that fine city of Oxford. According to the
    2001 census, it numbers 134,248, but it has up to 10,000 ‘international migrants’ at any one time, so I think it is safe to assert that the populations are comparatively equal.

  29. zeus2007 says :

    This stuff is amazing and I think more people join the zoo everyday!

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