Wish You Were All Here…
Today’s post is from Ivy Wong, Science Team member and PI of an upcoming new project. She also did an amazing job organizing our Galaxy Zoo conference in Australia. Read on for details!
It has been 2 weeks since the “Evolutionary Paths in Galaxy Morphology” meeting in Sydney and I am still recovering from the post-conference brain-melt, also described in Brooke’s blog post. Perhaps I am getting old.
The 4 days of cutting-edge science presentations and discussions went by all too quickly. And we are now left with new ideas for new projects and renewed motivation for finishing up current ones. It is also becoming clear that the term morphology is slowly evolving from a once vague division between early- and late-type galaxies (i.e. spheroids or spirals; as inferred from observations using optical telescopes) to include more specific descriptions of a galaxy’s form which includes the 3-dimensional dynamics and kinematics. Also, how a galaxy looks at a different wavelength will depend on factors such as how hot its interstellar medium is, how much gas it has, what state that gas is, how active is the galaxy’s central supermassive black hole and whether it is experiencing any harassment by its neighbours and local environment.
As our understanding of galaxy morphology evolves, so too will the Galaxy Zoo project. As you may have heard, the next generation Galaxy Zoo project will show us morphologies that will be completely alien to most of us, even those who enjoy a regular dose of science fiction. The new Radio Galaxy Zoo project will show us images observed in the radio wavelengths, typically coming from synchrotron radiation. Synchrotron emission results from accelerated charged particles moving at relativistic velocities and is usually seen as outflows/jets from a galaxy’s central supermassive black holes.
Though this already happened during the conference dinner, I’d like to take this opportunity to make a repeat of the toast (albeit virtually) to the >800,000 citizen scientists who has helped us thus far. It would have been lovely to have you all join us at the meeting, but we would have probably sunk our dinner boat. So if you’re interested in checking out some of the presentations from this meeting, please go to:
The official conference program booklet will help put these presentations into context and can be found at:
Am definitely looking forward to the next big Galaxy Zoo conference. Perhaps somewhere up North next time?