Pencasting Galaxy Zoo science at dotAstro

As any of you who are on Twitter (or elsewhere on the web) may have noticed, there has been a conference (dotAstronomy) going on in Oxford this week which several of the people involved in Galaxy Zoo and the Zooinverse were attending (and even some of them were part of running it!). If you’re not on Twitter yet see #dotastro and you might as well get started on Twitter by following everyone who was at the conference. That would really be a great starting point if you’re interested in astronomy (which I assume you are if you’re reading this)!

dotAstronomy was an amazing conference, full of amazing people, and I’ve returned to Portsmouth on an awesome high, but a bit overwhelmed over where to start blogging about it. So I decided rather than try to review the whole conference for you, I would instead just review snippets which I thought were interesting, and for the purposes of blogging on this site, had the most to do with Galaxy Zoo.

So I’m going to start with Pencasting. This was a totally new idea for me, and I have to say I immediately loved it and wanted to join in. So I spent a small amount of my time on the “hack day” making a “pencast” describing our most recent Galaxy Zoo science result (the observation that bars are more common in redder spiral galaxies). A pencast is a drawing that you make while describing what you’re doing. The special pen and paper you use record both the drawing an audio which you can then put online for others to watch. Check it out and see what you think.

My Galaxy Zoo pencast:

I’m sorry if the embedding doesn’t work for you, I’ll try to get that fixed tomorrow. Anyway you can see it along with more astronomy related pencasts see the dotAstronomy Pencast Gallery. And stay tuned. I really liked this technology, so you may be seeing more of it.

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About karenlmasters

Astronomer at Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth. Project Scientist for Galaxy Zoo. Spokesperson for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Vice President of the Society for Popular Astronomy. Busy having fun with astronomy!

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