Archive by Author | ttfnrob

Galaxy Zoo: Now Available In Chinese (Mandarin)

GZ MandarinWhat follows is a press release from Academia Sinica’s Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics, regarding the new Mandarin Galaxy Zoo. Below is some context for English speakers and regular Galaxy Zoo users.

在可觀測宇宙散佈千億星系,許多以美麗著稱。光芒閃耀的每個星系裡,都有數十億顆恆星。新推出的「星系動物園」網站中文版,和研究星系大有關聯,不管有沒有天文背景,只要有網路,無論愛上網咖還是宅宅A咖,只花二分鐘也可參與星系分類的Galaxy Zoo計畫,自2007年以來,在英、美、歐地區成為網民科普熱門運動,已經招募87萬名星系分類員(志工),大受歡迎。原來星星可以這樣數。


從”Galaxy Zoo”到「星系動物園」,天文所推廣組表示,「兩年前就想過要做」的這個計畫,今年8月,一經天文所博士後研究Meg Schwamb再次提議,立刻獲得響應,網站中文化水到渠成,也讓台灣在全球天文學界再博得一次「亞洲第一」的小獎勵(註:目前該網站只有英文版和西語版)。推廣組表示,由於星系資料持續新增,分類員在圖像庫中撈到某個從未曾被人見過的星系,或「全球第一人」這樣的說法,確實所言不虛。

來自英國的Galaxy Zoo計畫主持人Chris Lintott表示,在網民科學網站傘狀計畫下的項目還有很多,天文類的譬如行星獵人(Planet Hunters)和火星氣候(Planet Four)。這些都必須靠各位地球人以好眼力來熱情相挺,電腦可幫不上忙。為什麼呢?歡迎上網一探究竟:


Last weekend, led by Dr. Meg Schwamb (who is part of the Planet Hunters and Planet Four teams), a team of Taiwanese astronomers helped introduced a Chinese (Mandarin) version a Galaxy Zoo to the public on the Open House Day of Academia Sinica, the highest academic institution in Taiwan.

A big crowd of enthusiastic students and parents, attracted by the long queue itself, visited the ‘Citizen Science: Galaxy Zoo’ booth to try the project hands-on by doing galaxy classifications. They were excited to participate in scientific research and enjoyed it very much.

“Amazing! In just two minutes, we have helped astronomer doing their research, it’s so cool! Also, we learn new astronomical facts we never knew before. It’s a good show.”

The Education Public Outreach team of Academia Sinica’s Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics (a.k.a. “ASIAA”), has helped translated Galaxy Zoo from English to Chinese (Mandarin). The main translator, Lauren Huang said, “we were keen to do a localized version for Galaxy Zoo since 2010, so when Meg brought up this nice idea again, we acted upon it at once.” In less than six weeks, it was done. The other translator, Chun-Hui, Yang, who contributed to the translation, said that she likes the website’s sleek design very much. “I think the honor is ours, to take part in such a well-designed global team work!” Lauren said.

Talking about the translation process process, Lauren provided an anecdote that she thought about giving “zoo” a very local name, such as “Daguanyuan” (“Grand View Garden”), a term with authentic Chinese cultural flavour, and is from classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. She said, “because, my personal experience in browsing the Galaxy Zoo website has been very much just like the character Ganny Liu in the classics novel. Imagine, if one flew into the virtual image database of the universe, which contains all sorts of hidden treasures waiting to be explored, what a privilege, and how little we can offer, to help on such a grandeur design?” However, the zoo is still translated as “Dungwuyuan”, literally, just as “zoo “. Because that’s what some Chinese bloggers have already accustomed to, creating a different term might just be too confusing.

You can check out the Traditional Character Chinese (Mandarin) version of Galaxy Zoo at

Zoo Tools: A New Way to Analyze, View and Share Data

Your Galaxy Zoo data can be explored using our new Zoo Tools site. It’s currently in beta (meaning it’s not perfect!) but if you’re interested in plotting and sharing data, you should give it a try.


Since the very first days of Galaxy Zoo, our projects have seen amazing contributions from volunteers who have gone beyond the main classification tasks. Many of these examples have led to scientific publications, including Hanny’s Voorwerp, the ‘green pea’ galaxies, and the circumbinary planet PH1b.

One common thread that runs through the many positive experiences we’ve had with the volunteers is the way in which they’ve interacted more deeply with the data. In Galaxy Zoo, much of this has been enabled by linking to the Sloan SkyServer website, where you can find huge amounts of additional information about galaxies on the site (redshift, spectra, magnitudes, etc). We’ve put in similar links on other projects now, linking to the Kepler database on Planet Hunters, or data on the location and water conditions in Seafloor Explorer.

The second part of this that we think is really important, however, is providing…

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Galaxy Zoo Quench: A New Kind of Citizen Science

Yesterday, we launched a new Galaxy Zoo side-project: Quench. Read all about it in this Zooniverse blog post:


A new ‘mini’ project went live yesterday called Galaxy Zoo Quench. This project involves new images of 6,004 galaxies drawn from the original Galaxy Zoo. As usual, everyone is invited to come and classify these galaxies, but this project has a twist that makes it special! We hope to take citizen science to the next level by providing 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

Galaxy Zoo Quench is examining 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 galaxy evolution. So that’s exactly what we want to do: with the help of the Zooniverse community. We hope you’ll join us as we try out a new kind of citizen science project…

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How to Translate Galaxy Zoo

GZ Mandarin

Not too long ago we announced that Galaxy Zoo has gone open source – along with several other Zooniverse projects. Part of that announcement was that it is now possible for anyone to translate the Galaxy Zoo website into their own language and have that pulled back into the main site. We love translation at the Zooniverse! Using GitHub (our code repository) means we can open up the translation process to everyone.

I’ve been answering a lot of emails about how this process works so I thought I would outline a tutorial here on the blog. To get started go to: and download the .json file corresponding to your language. If there is not yet one there you have two options:

  1. Clone the app locally from GitHub and run the translate.rb file in root
  2. If step 1 doesn’t make any sense then contact and we can create the file for you.

These JSON files are tree structures of strings in “key”: “value” pairs that contain all the translatable text on Galaxy Zoo. You need to translate just the values , which are the parts after the colon (:) shown in bold in the example chunk of the file below.

“zooniverse”: {
“browser_check”: {
“wont_work”: “This site probably won’t work until you update your browser.”,
“recommended”: “We recommend using <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Mozilla Firefox</a> or <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Google Chrome</a>.”,
“ie”: “If you use <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Microsoft Internet Explorer</a>, make sure you’re running the latest version.”,
“chrome_frame”: “If you can’t install the latest Internet Explorer, try <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Chrome Frame</a>!”,
“dismiss”: “Dismiss”

You do not translate the parts before the colon as these are the keys that are used to identify each string. so in the example you do not translate  “zooniverse”, “browser_check”, “won’t_work, “recommended”, “ie”, “chrome_frame” or “dismiss”. Here’s the Spanish version of the above segment of the file:

“zooniverse”: {
“browser_check”: {
“wont_work”: “Es probable que este sitio no funcione hasta que actualices tu navegador.”,
“recommended”: “Te recomendamos usar <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Mozilla Firefox</a> o <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Google Chrome</a>.”,
“ie”: “Si utilizas <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Microsoft Internet Explorer</a>, asegúrate que estés usando la última versión.”,
“chrome_frame”: “Si no puedes instalar la última versión de Internet Explorer, intenta usar <a href=\”\” target=\”_blank\”>Chrome Frame</a>!”,
“dismiss”: “Dismiss”

Note that any quotation marks need to be escaped i.e. ” becomes \” – these files have to be valid JSON and there is a handy online tool for validating this at – here you can paste in the whole file and it will tell you where there are any formatting errors if you have any.

There is very little scope for doing language-specific formatting on the website. This means that if text is too long when it’s been translated it may run off the page or be cut-off on the screen. Because of this, you need to keep the translated strings to approximately the same length. If this causes issues let us know. To test out the translation and see how it looks, which you’re welcome to do ant any time, you can either email your current file to or run the Galaxy Zoo app locally by cloning it from GitHub (

We also have an email list for Zooniverse Translators. If you’d like to join it in order to ask questions of other translators and hear about other projects you might want to translate then email If you are planning on doing a translation it would be worth joining the list to coordinate with other translators in your language.

NOTE: If you’re familiar with GitHub, you can clone the Galaxy Zoo repo, create a local JSON file for your language and just submit a Pull Request when you’re ready. You can find the translation-creator script here.

When your translation is complete will find find an astronomer somewhere in the world who speaks your language, in order to double-check (peer-review!) the new text and give feedback. This is done to ensure that the site is still conveying the original meaning and acts as a good error-checking mechanism.

Good luck with your translation, and thank you! Hopefully we can open up Galaxy Zoo to many more people around the world.