A startling discovery in the latest paper from the Zoo

This morning the latest paper from Galaxy Zoo appeared on astro-ph β€” “Galaxy Zoo: an unusual new class of galaxy cluster”. Authored by two of the Galaxy Zoo team’s newest recruits, Marven F. Pedbost and Trillean Pomalgu, this four-page paper presents a remarkable new discovery, which may require us to revise our fundamental ideas about either our place in the universe or the occurrence of unlikely events. The abstract gives a concise summary:

We have identified a new class of galaxy cluster using data from the Galaxy Zoo project. These clusters are rare, and thus have apparently gone unnoticed before, despite their unusual properties. They appear especially anomalous when the morphological properties of their component galaxies are considered. Their identification therefore depends upon the visual inspection of large numbers of galaxies, a feat which has only recently been made possible by Galaxy Zoo, together with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We present the basic properties of our cluster sample, and discuss possible formation scenarios and implications for cosmology.

To find out more, you can download a pdf file of the paper here.

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30 responses to “A startling discovery in the latest paper from the Zoo”

  1. Aaron says :

    Well done.

  2. zeus2007 says :


  3. Pat says :

    Well done everyone!!!! πŸ˜€ ::)

  4. John says :

    The best paper I read in ages!

  5. fluffyporcupine says :

    excellent, think thats the best paper i’ve ever read πŸ˜€

  6. Sylvia says :

    Well done! Very convincing and so much work! πŸ™‚

  7. gaia says :

    Truly amazing stuff!

  8. mzeewzkazi says :

    Congratulations, it is a momentous occasion in our astronomical history, a pat on the backs for you (GZ n SDSS) and the hard working volunteers, today as an amateur astronomer I’m proud to be part of history, thanks GZ n SDSS for giving me this opportunity, and many more to come, again bravo πŸ˜€

  9. Alice says :

    Yay πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  10. Joseph K. H. Cheng says :

    Hurrah ! Another ground breaking discovery for the Zoo community. Thanks for propagating the great news, Steven.


  11. Hanns says :

    nice, I studied the paper because of the interesting abstract, soon notizing that it is April, 1st,….

  12. Nils W says :

    This year’s best joke so far!

  13. Gerardo Blanco says :

    Ja! I “apologize for the inconvenience”. You have a great sense of humor!!!

  14. Carolyn says :

    Great April fool!

  15. veggy says :

    First class. But don’t you have to take it down now? April Fool only runs to lunchtime and its lunchtime on the Greenwich Meridian.

  16. Chris says :

    I thought we just had to admit it was a fool…

    Anyway, the paper is on arXiv along with other April Fools past for all time…

  17. Hanny says :

    Very creative and great work! πŸ˜€

  18. jgrahamf says :

    This is great news and might help my own theory regarding the existence of the Christmas galaxy cluster comprising the ‘sleigh galaxy’ and its 12 accompanying reindeer galaxies.
    They can be seen in the night sky in both hemispheres on the same night of the year.

  19. rehana says :

    Too much classifying for me–I didn’t even see the words in the figure until I read the paper. Well done.

  20. pjm says :

    Breathtaking stuff. I am looking into follow-up opportunities – I think the Templeton Foundation might be interested.

  21. Budgieye says :

    So well written, it sounds believable. Can we learn something from this?

  22. margo calisto says :

    Brilliant paper! I turned down a place to studt at Brentwood Uni in favour of…..?
    I’m kicking myself.

  23. Stephen Cann says :


    Marven and Trillian from Brentwood in a paper published on 1st April.

    Could this be an April Fool tribute to Douglas Adams?

    Looks like it fooled a few people, though!

  24. Adrianus V says :

    When will this be published in The Astrophysical Journal? πŸ™‚ That’ll be the first time I buy that magazine.

  25. Adolph Finn says :

    So long, and thanks for all the fish!

  26. jules says :

    Hubble, Bouble, Toil and Trobble – such eminent references too!! Nicely done! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  27. Adrianus V says :

    I wrote a blog about this ‘discovery’ on my Dutch blog. The interesting thing was that one of my readers gave a reaction in which he paid attention to the statistics of the chance that such a configuration of galaxies in shapes like above will occur in the universe. Amazing story (http://www.astroblogs.nl/2009/04/01/galaxy-zoo-ontdekt-nieuw-type-clusters-van-sterrenstelsels/comment-page-1/#comment-21192). OK, it’s in Dutch, so grab a dictionary. πŸ™‚

  28. Louise D. says :

    Well Done I see I am not the only Fool this April!!!!!
    Well Done we have been!!!!!!!

  29. Rob Smethurst says :

    Worthy of a 42 gun salute.

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