More Hubble Features, and More Often!

Here at Zooniverse HQ we’ve been thinking a bit more about those “fuzzy blobs” we talked about during our last hangout. Many of those faint galaxies are among the most distant objects we’ve ever seen, so we really want to learn about how they’ve formed and what they look like, but in some cases they are just too faint to get a really detailed classification. We can probably learn what their overall shape is, and possibly tell whether they’re disturbed or interacting, but spiral arms? Bars? Bulge strength? Not likely.

Hubble faint galaxies

For these objects, the classifications we already have are enough to tell us everything we can learn from these images. So we decided to use your tags on Talk to help us figure out what galaxies we should declare “done” for classification purposes. Combining the #toofainttoclassify and #fhb tags with some of the information in the photometric catalogs for the CANDELS sample helped us decide which Hubble galaxies needed more classification and which were finished.

After this analysis, it turned out that we were ready to retire about 25% of the CANDELS sample! That’s a lot of clicks collected, and they’ll all be put to good use as we turn to the science questions, such as looking for the signs of mergers in the early universe. And it’s also a lot of clicks saved — by putting those galaxies into early retirement we can focus the attention of our dedicated volunteers on images where they can identify more detailed features. So your tags and discussions on Talk are helping us to make the best use of your classifications: thank you.

We’ve also set the remaining galaxies in CANDELS to show up a little more frequently than before. So hopefully you’ll be seeing less of the above faint Hubble galaxies, and more of galaxies like this:

Brighter Hubble Mosaic

Or perhaps something nobody’s ever seen… you never know what you might see next.

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5 responses to “More Hubble Features, and More Often!”

  1. Brooke Simmons says :

    PS – During the analysis to find the faint, fuzzy things, I also figured out how to identify most of the bright, ultra-compact things: in other words, the stars! We found about 1,500 stars and other point-like objects in the Hubble images that you can’t really get a detailed morphology from, so we declared those finished too.

  2. Jean Tate says :


    Any chance you could give us the GZ4 Ids of these 16 objects? I’m particularly interested in the one in the second set, bottom row, 3rd from the left: it seems to have a ‘misbehaving’ spiral arm! 🙂

    • Brooke Simmons says :

      Oh dear — I’d already closed the windows when you posted that! I have the CANDELS IDs for all of them, but I was only able to (relatively) easily find the GZ4 IDs for 6 of the 8. Luckily one of them is the one you mentioned. They are:

      AGZ0000m5f, AGZ0000wsw, AGZ0000z81, AGZ0000vab, AGZ00013ae, AGZ00009tt

      Hope that helps!

  3. Tom Freethesouls Zolotor says :

    I am so glad the tags are helping like the #fhb one. Thanks for letting us know that we are helping out science.

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