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?

Post-conference relaxing in Sydney Harbour.

A Galaxy Zoo conference is not complete without after hours drinks by the harbour. From left to right: Brooke, Karen, Jeyhan, Julie & Ivy in pic 1. Amit, Kyle, Bill, Chris L. & Chris S. in pic 2. (Photo credit: Amanda Bauer aka @astropixie)

3 responses to “Wish You Were All Here…”

  1. Jean Tate says :

    It’s wonderful to read – again! – that the conference was so successful, and humbling to realize that my clicks played a part in making the science happen (albeit an extremely small one). I’m slowly working my way through the presentations and posters; such a lot packed into just a few days.

    Did any Down Under ordinary zooites get a chance to attend any part of the conference? It’d be terrific to hear from them! 🙂

    Very much looking forward to Radio Galaxy Zoo, and perhaps one day, UV Galaxy Zoo, mid-IR Galaxy Zoo, x-ray Galaxy Zoo, … 😉

  2. Ivy says :

    I think a few “ordinary” (I catch your meaning but I disagree that the citizen scientists such as yourself can be classified as “ordinary”) downunder zooites did attend Chris L’s public talk. –Ivy

  3. karenlmasters says :

    Chris Lintott gave a talk on Planethunters the day before the conference. We also ran Galaxy Zoo/Moon Zoo sessions on laptops in a booth in the museum all the time.

    The conference itself was very science focussed – not just Galaxy Zoo science, but all sorts of results on galaxy evolution that had some link to galaxy morphology. 🙂

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