Supernova Hunt Underway Again!

For those of you who took part in the Galaxy Zoo Supernova Hunt back in August – good news: the site is now back live, with an improved tutorial and interface. We hope that you like the changes that we have made.

A supernova is an exploding star, capable of outshining an entire galaxy. We have a robotic telescope from the Palomar Transient Factory in California sending us candidate supernovae from the galaxies it scans, and, as in August, we have two astronomers from Oxford standing by at the William Herschel Telescope on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. They will observe the best of the candidates that you identify.

Our last experiment in August was very successful, and so this time we’re looking at a much larger set of data in an attempt to work out just how common each type of supernova really is. The Supernova Hunt site has been live since Friday, and already there are no shortage of candidates for us to investigate further. But of course, we need more! If you didn’t get the chance to take part last time, please do spend a few minutes reading the tutorial, and enjoy hunting for supernovae! Any feedback or comments are very welcome, either here or over on the Galaxy Zoo forum. And, we’ll try to post regular updates from WHT as to how the observing run progresses. Let’s hope for good weather – you can keep an eye on that here using the webcams (during daylight!) and satellite feeds.


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9 responses to “Supernova Hunt Underway Again!”

  1. oino sakai says :

    I’m sorry I can’t help. Once again there are two parts of the Tutorial that to me are contradictory. [black-white pixels mixed together is where you lose me. yet one of the circular ‘good’ images to me is made up of ‘bad’ b/w pixels.]

    There is also the whole ‘centered’ thing. To this amateur, a nova candidate should be off-center of the galaxy. At this level of image resolution, I don’t understand how you can see a nova against the background light of a galactic center.

    I wish you much success with better clickers in this project. I think it’s an exciting and important project and I look forward to reading more about your results and discoveries.

  2. Dennis Smith says :

    On the supernova candidate search: If the subtracted image seems to show several candidates (possibly even ALL bright objects) is it safe to assume the data is faulty?

  3. Joseph K. H. Cheng says :

    This should be an exciting observation run.


  4. Paul says :

    The “How to take part” page is broken. Therefore, nb’s cannot do the tutorial.


  5. Marcus Barber says :

    This is a very interesting project, though the tutorial certainly needs clearer insructions and examples. I classified a few potential canidates as best I could… But having looked at the site’s front page today (displaying some of the supernovae identified), I noted that the first supernova example (with identical flashes in the first and last boxes and nothing in the centre one) was something not on the tutorial. Which is a shame, as I had at least one such candidate that I did not consider a supernova (thinking it to be a ‘flash’ from a pulsar, or something similar) as this was not part of the tutorial.

    Yours, Eagerly awaiting the next stage,

  6. dave3 says :

    It seems that the tutorial is still “broken”!
    My p.c. can’t find it.

  7. Hlary Forbes says :

    Hi, no my computer can’t find the tutorial either.


  8. Sophia Cross says :

    it says the link is broken ! 😦

  9. Stringy says :

    Yep, tutorial link is still broken. Help!

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