A first look at the data from Galaxy Zoo 2 beta
“Wow! Just wow!”
Over the last week I’ve been taking a look at the data that many of you have been generating on the Galaxy Zoo 2 beta site. It’s great to see that the Galaxy Zoo magic is working again, and this time we have so much more information about each galaxy! We really are going to be able to do some amazing research with the Galaxy Zoo 2 data.
However, the current task is quality control, in particular making sure that the answers we are getting correspond to what we had in mind when we came up with the Galaxy Zoo 2 questions. We want to be sure that we aren’t asking questions that can’t be answered given the typical quality of SDSS images, or that aren’t going to give us useful information about the galaxies. We also want to see where we may be able to improve the questions to better discriminate between different types of galaxy, and where we should rewrite the tutorial to give more guidance.
This testing was one of the reasons for having a beta stage. However, even though the data collected so far was for mainly for quality control, we will definitely also be using it for science. In particular, it will give us a preliminary idea of the results we can expect to find in the full Galaxy Zoo 2 dataset, which we can advertise at conferences this spring. Thanks to all our beta testers for helping us to ensure that Galaxy Zoo 2 will be a success.
To show you how well the current Galaxy Zoo 2 system is working, here is a prettified version of the page I made which got me saying “Wow!”, Chris jumping around his office, and made the whole team very happy when it was sent around on Friday. (Sorry if the images load slowly – there are a quite a lot of them!)
I’m now adding more quantitative information for the team, such as graphs of the distribution of answers for each question, to test all the things I described above so that we can improve the tutorial and classification system ready for the imminent full launch of Galaxy Zoo 2 to the world.