Galaxy Zoo in the News: Science Magazine
Galaxy Zoo made it into one of the lead article (subscription req’d) in Science Magazine on the International Year of Astronomy and the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach (where many Zooites met up). From the article:
Because anyone can search the sky, astronomy remains the most democratic of sciences–perhaps the only one in which an amateur can still make a bona fide discovery. In August 2007, Hanny van Arkel did just that. The primary-school teacher from Heerlen, the Netherlands, spotted a strange blue blob in the sky. The intergalactic ghost turned out to be an enormous cloud of gas that is reflecting the light lingering from a now-dead quasar in a nearby galaxy to create a never-before-seen “light echo.” The discovery of Hanny’s Voorwerp (Dutch for Hanny’s Object) earned Van Arkel, 25, a moment of fame. “My name was all over the world, and that’s fun,” she says.
At the same time, the discovery highlights dramatic changes within astronomy. Van Arkel made her find not by looking through a telescope–she doesn’t own one–but by viewing on her computer some of the millions of images of galaxies captured by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, an 8-year-old project cataloging everything that can be seen in a vast swath of sky with a 2.5-meter telescope on Apache Point in New Mexico. Van Arkel is one of more than 160,000 volunteers helping to classify 1 million galaxies as part of an outreach program called Galaxy Zoo.
Science magazine is the weekly journal of the AAAS, so this is a fabulous piece of publicity for us!
Very cool. Well give Galaxy Zoo and Hanny more exposer and recognition for their great work.
It was well deserved