Dust pathfinding with Galaxy Zoo

Now that spring classes are over, I’m catching up with lots of things. These include making color-composite images from our latest observations at the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope in Arizona done to follow up overlapping-galaxy pairs from the Forum. Here are three samples, showing how much more detail we can see with long exposures one the objects have been found from the SDSS data. In SDSS J215311.30-073533.5, the WIYN images show just the kind of thing we’re looking for – dust in spiral arms silhouetted against the light of the background galaxy. First here is the SDSS image, then the WIYN picture below it.

SDSS 2153-07 WIYN image

SDSS 2153-07 WIYN image

This pair, SDSS J231444.84+063821.3, shows a very deep overlap, with spiral structure that only appears as a blue patch on the SDSS.

SDSS 2314+06 WIYN image

SDSS 2314+06 WIYN image

And finally, for a change, we see UGC 1689 (also known as SDSS J021200.15+140059.1), where there are many background galaxies but all so distant that they look much smaller. Here we can look for smaller patches or arms of dust in the outer part of the galaxy.

SDSS 0212+14 WIYN image

SDSS 0212+14 WIYN image

We’re working away to measure the amount dust absorption in these and the 25 or so other pairs from that observing session. Mostly that means that Anna is spending her days doing the calculations trying to make a thesis deadline in August. I send the data along after processing and otherwise try to stay out of the way.

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6 responses to “Dust pathfinding with Galaxy Zoo”

  1. Infinity says :

    Brilliant, thanks for sharing Bill 🙂

  2. Alice says :

    Wonderful! Thanks Bill, and greet Anna (not that we know her at the forum unless she hides well, but I do hope she’ll join us for coffee some day).

    Look forward to hearing what dust does in galaxies. If only it looked a hundredth that pretty in my room. 8)

  3. zeus2007 says :

    Those are pretty pics! Thanks for the opportunity to get a little clearer than the fuzziness from SDSS.

  4. GwydionM says :

    Good to see more details. Thanks.

  5. Mark O'Connell says :

    Nice Bill! Thanks for keeping us updated. I know I like being at the front in understanding galaxy formations. This way when I see something wrong in a scifi flick I can laugh along with you.

  6. Half65 says :

    Overlap …
    Overlap …
    Overlap …

    Great work Bill and good news.

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