Stripe 82 : Digging Deeper

Anyone who has been classifying galaxies today may well have noticed a big change in the Zoo; the addition of some new images that don’t look quite like the previous set. These new galaxies come from a very special part of the sky known to the Sloan team as “Stripe 82”.


Over the first seven years of the Sloan survey, the telescope returned again and again to this part of the sky, comparing images from each visit in an attempt to discover supernovae (exploding stars) and detect objects which change in brightness. A nice side effect, though, is that we can add the different images together. This produces the same result as having left the telescope pointing at the same place for longer; images which show fainter objects and (hopefully) more detail in familiar ones.

This was too good an opportunity for us to pass up, and so we’ve added the Stripe 82 images to the Zoo. They look a bit different – more background noise, slightly different colours – but these are the deepest, most detailed images we’ve ever presented to Galaxy Zoo users. There are more than 40,000 new images – so get clicking!


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31 responses to “Stripe 82 : Digging Deeper”

  1. Hanny says :

    Cool! 😀

  2. Joseph K. H. Cheng says :

    This is really interesting ! There could be new discoveries over there. Thanks a lot for including samples from Stripe 82.


  3. JG says :

    40,000 new images, excellent, thanks for adding them.

  4. dave3 says :

    found my first one and wondered what (on or off) earth i was looking at. Great

  5. jackd says :

    I’ve seen about 1 of these for every 10 or 20 images tonight. Thanks for the explanation. So far they all look like intermediate ellipticals, disappointing my desire for eye candy.

  6. Hanny says :

    I think they look pretty. 🙂

  7. Tim says :

    Neat! So far I’m not sure how to classify these. I’m usually putting featured, with a dominant to just noticeable central bulge. Any tips on how we should be classifying these would be great, or an updated FAQ!

  8. Jeannette says :

    Don’t give up on looking for eye candy jackd…I have one image saved in my favorites from Stripe 82 that will knock your socks off. Keep looking – the eye candy is there!

  9. embarrassed says :

    The first of these images I saw I thought was a badly formed error image. The shape I was classifying was only a streak, shaped like a line the same width all the way along, definitely not an edge-on disc, but not seeing it properly through all the red+green may have influenced that I dismissed it as a “star or artefact.”

  10. StargazerGirl says :

    That is really awesome, although at first I thought something was wrong with the images! So, all the red and green blothces are just background noise-cool!

  11. CCP says :

    This sounds awesome! So we should just classify them like normal, right?

  12. CCP says :

    If you need help classifying it, it helps to click on the “invert image” option under the galaxy image screen. It helps to even out some of the background noise.

  13. zeus2007 says :

    Awesome news! Great addiction everyone, thanks!

  14. Jim says :

    Looking and then commenting makes one thing clear…I need a vocabulary transplant or enhancement. Everyday I am thankful to be involved and awed beyond words.

  15. Hanny says :

    Hi guys,

    Initially I found it harder to classify these as well, but I guess that’s mainly because we’re used to the other images. In any case, we just need to try and classify them as best as we can ‘like normal’ indeed.

    Cheers.. 😉

  16. Starfiend says :

    Have to admit I was puzzled by the first few of these I saw, but now I know what they are I’m fascinated. Couldn’t get onto the SDSS site with them. Both the ‘More information’ link and the ‘Full SDSS entry’ link produce SQL errors. (Mind you it is Micro$oft so there’s 3/4’s of your problem! 🙂

  17. davidjamesjones says :

    Surprisingly many of the ones I’ve seen have a circular or elliptical ring at the centre. I’m wondering why this should be.

  18. Fred Neill says :

    Only problem (?) with them, to me the galaxy centres (so far) all seem obvious to dominant – another effect of the process?

  19. Mark McDermott says :

    Like davidjamesjones (see 7 Sept message), I’m tempted to categorise many of these as having circular or elliptical rings at the centre. (They appear like egg yolks with holes in them – making them appear quite weird compared with the usual images.) Is this incorrect – is it an optical illusion, or image burnout does anybody know?

  20. Mabilis says :

    Wow, I found two cool ones from stripe 82 in a row and was confused why until I read this.

  21. Mabilis says :

    @ Mark McDermott September 10th, 2009 11:47 pm
    aparently its elliptical.

  22. Mark McDermott says :

    Thanks Mabilis — much appreciated.

  23. coolcatteas says :

    I’ve noticed the same thing with the ‘doughnut holes’ in the Stripe 82 pictures. Any explanation?

  24. cassius says :

    So happy to find this thread…I did some classifying last night for the first time in almost a month and was mystified by why I was seeing so many of these images. My first classifications were as artifacts also…I’ll look deeper from now on.

    I’ll be interested to see if an explanation can be offered for the ‘donut holes’…I thought they looked like ‘rings of fire’ due to the predominantly golden color I’ve seen to the galaxies; flame color.

  25. cassius says :

    Further examination when the image was inverted gave me the impression that the centers looked over-exposed…like the centers were burnt into the image and creating the donut/ring/halo…?…

  26. mabz says :

    those are really cool galaxy and the are all in my favourites

  27. miyuki says :

    I have only classified one of the imges from Stripe 82, but there was a huge red explosion(?) obscuring the view. I am not sure whether or not this is a supernovae, but I really want to find out. Has anyone else classified this image? If so, please tell me what you think it is~

    • Steven says :

      miyuki: It was probably a star. The telescope is set up to detect very faint galaxies, so some stars, even normal ones if they are nearby, can be so bright that they produce weird spikes and haloes in the images.

  28. Dan says :

    Has anyone else been seeing bright green spectrum-like band running vertically through the picture of some stripe 82 pictures??? I’m guessing they are glitches and have been classifying them as star or artifact.

  29. Drew Eaton says :

    I started classifying today and I thought Stripe 82 was an artifact. But it’s actualy a galaxy!?

  30. Dan says :

    That is crazy! It looks like a cosmic road.

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