Live Chat: Galactic Rings, Secular Evolution and The Good Old Days

GdV 3D morphological classification

It’s amazing what happens when you actually publicize your live chat in advance. We got so many questions, we decided to spend the entire chat just discussing them, and we still didn’t finish!

Partly that’s because we had a surprise guest appearance from the esteemed Ron Buta, who came in just after we had talked about some of the details covered in his Galaxy Morphology article (his Figure 3 is shown in the image). Ron worked with Gérard de Vaucouleurs — aka GdV — and told us some amusing stories about trying to take photometric* observations of dwarf galaxies, and about how GdV’s wife used to disagree with his morphologies, at one point looking over his shoulder and proclaiming, “no, there’s no ring”. I rather liked that story as it’s a reminder that anyone can spot patterns in galaxy images.

We’ll try to answer those questions on the previous blog post that we didn’t get to there — but in the meantime, here’s the video:

Left to right: Ron Buta & Bill Keel, Karen Masters, Kevin Schawinski, Brooke Simmons (me). Toward the end (not shown on the thumbnail), Kyle Willett arrived just in time to answer a question about the status of the latest Galaxy Zoo classification set.

We made ample use of the jargon gong on ourselves, but we may not have managed to define all the terms Ron used. We’ll try to do so in this post — if we’ve missed any please say so in the comments!

*photometry = precise quantitative measurements of the brightness of objects in the sky. You need very good observing conditions to take photometric measurements, which many (but not all) astronomical projects require.

Update: Now in podcast form:

Download MP3 file

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5 responses to “Live Chat: Galactic Rings, Secular Evolution and The Good Old Days”

  1. Daniel Cornwall says :

    Reblogged this on Alaskan Librarian and commented:
    Second live chat with some of the Galaxy Zoo team answering questions from Twitter,etc. These people are having a lot of fun. Also notable for its use of a “jargon gong” that I think should in broad use in library instruction.

  2. Jean Tate says :

    I wrote this week’s Object of the Day – I have the Wednesday slot – in the Galaxy Zoo forum, Ringed Galaxies, So Lovely, So Lonely, inspired by this Live Chat.

    (Does anyone know why there’s no trackback/pingback?)

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