Galaxy Zoo Quench – Experience the Full Scientific Process

Experience Science from Beginning to End! Classify, Analyze, Discuss, and Collaboatively Write an Article!

Galaxy Zoo and other Zooniverse projects have given thousands the opportunity to contribute to scientific research.  It’s time to take the role of volunteers to the next level.  For the next two months*, this new Galaxy Zoo Quench project provides the opportunity to take part in the ENTIRE scientific process – everything from classifying galaxies to analyzing results to collaborating with astronomers to writing a scientific article!

Galaxy Zoo Quench will examine a sample of galaxies that have recently and abruptly quenched their star formation. These galaxies are aptly named Post-Quenched Galaxies.  They provide an ideal laboratory for studying how galaxies evolve from blue, star-forming spiral galaxies to red, non-star-forming elliptical galaxies. Using the more than a million galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we identified ~3000 post-quenched galaxies.  By classifying these galaxies and analyzing the results, we will explore the mechanisms that quenched their star formation and investigate the role of post-quenched galaxies in galaxy evolution.

The entire process of classifying, analyzing, discussing, and writing the article will take place over an 8 week period*, beginning July 18th. After classifying the galaxies, volunteers will use the tools available within Zooniverse to plot the data and look for trends.  Through reading articles and interaction in Talk, volunteers will gain background information. Throughout, they’ll discuss with the science team their interpretation of the results.  At the end of the process, volunteers and the science team will collaboratively write a 4-page Astrophysical Journal article.

Large Arms 3

What causes the star formation in these galaxies to be quenched?  How do interactions impact galaxy evolution?  What is the fate of our Milky Way?  Join us this Summer (or Winter if you’re below the equator!) in exploring these questions, being a part of the scientific process, and contributing to our understanding of this dynamic phase of galaxy evolution!

Tidal Stream


We’ll be sharing more details about this project during the next Galaxy Zoo Hangout, on Monday, July 15th at 14:00 CST / 19:00 GMT / 20:00 BST. Have questions about the project? Post them here or tweet at us (@galaxyzoo). Just before the Hangout starts, we’ll embed the video here so you can watch from the blog.

The best way to send us a comment during the live Hangout is through twitter (@galaxyzoo). You can also leave a comment on this blog post, or on Google Plus, Facebook or YouTube. See you soon!

Update: here’s the hangout (and the mp3 version)!

*Note: science timelines often subject to a factor of two uncertainty. We’ll do our best to keep on track, at the same time expecting the unexpected (all part of the fun of doing science!).

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11 responses to “Galaxy Zoo Quench – Experience the Full Scientific Process”

  1. chrislintott says :

    Note too that there is a large uncertainty about the uncertainty on timescales. This is going to be fun, though!

  2. Kyle Willett says :

    Our hangout video is embedded above – hope to see many volunteers help classify the new sample on July 18th!

  3. Jean Tate says :

    This was an *EXTREMELY* educational Hangout; thanks guys!

    @Brooke: did I hear that you’d be pleased to have someone help you do your paper writing?

    @ttfnrob (I think that’s you): when do we, ordinary zooites, get to play with the full set of Galaxy Zoo Tools?

    C’mon fellow zooites, register ASAP! This promises to be a wonderful adventure!!

  4. Peter Dzwig says :

    This looks like it could be really good. Looking forward to taking part. Keep me updated.

    Looking forward to the tools promised at Oxford too!!

    • Peter Dzwig says :


      it’s now 22nd. Had no confirmation or further info either to my inbox or PMs…what is happening?

      • ltrouille says :

        Hello, glad you posted. is live. It launched this past Thursday. We’re already at 55.9% complete on the classifications! Jump in and start classifying and/or check out the conversations over at See you there!

  5. says :

    Excellent site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your effort!

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