Well, you’ve done it, more quickly than we would ever have thought possible. We have now reached a critical point – 60 million classifications means an incredibly robust, well-defined and scientifically valid catalogue of Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies. Congratulations to those who won prizes, and thanks to everyone who took part.
So what happens now? The site is still here, as you can see, and every classification you make will still improve our results, and will be saved in our database. To encourage you to keep clicking, we’re still giving away individual prizes to one person at random for each collection of 250,000 classifications. To take part, all you have to do is what you do best – classify galaxies – and it will help if you make sure your Zooniverse email address is up to date so we can contact you if you’re a winner.
What 60 million really means is that we can move on to the next phase of the project – and you won’t have long to wait…
Having only announced the race to 60 million, only ten days ago, the Zoonometer is showing that we are now making the final 500,000 classifications! The response has been quite incredible and you can now start to see the winners going up on the Zoonometer page. We are still contacting winners as the classifications are made.
There is still one more prize draw to be made, at the 59,750,000 mark – when one classification from the previous 250,000 will be selected at random. Beyond that we await our 60,000,000th galaxy classification. The lucky person that makes that fateful classification will win a cool bundle of prizes:
- An original Sloan Digital Sky Survey plate
- A Galaxy Zoo mug and mousepad
- A Zooniverse t-shirt
Those of you that are wondering what will happen to Galaxy Zoo after the 60 million mark need not worry. We have a nice surprise in store for everyone very soon, but classifications will continue beyond 60,000,000 in the meantime. 60 million marks our minimum, best database. Every galaxy classified afterwards is still just as valid and useful as the 60,000,000 that preceded it and thus Galaxy Zoo will continue.
So if you want to be in with a chance of winning our prize for the 60,000,000th classification then go forth and classify! Watch this blog for more news and updates on the future of the Galaxy Zoo project.
[Image credit: NASA, ESA, K. Sheth (Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology), and P. Capak and N. Scoville (California Institute of Technology)]
Yesterday, Galaxy Zoo launched a fun little competition to mark the approach of our 60,000,000th classification. This is the point at which we can create an amazing and powerful database from the Galaxy Zoo 2 data.
Galaxy Zoo’s ticking clock of classifications, The Zoonometer™, has been steadily ticking away, toward our target of 60 million classifications for a long time. We can hardly believe it, but we’re nearly there! To mark this historic moment in Galaxy Zoo’s history, we’re giving away prizes to the people that provide the clicks that take us to our target.
The person that makes the 60 millionth classification will receive a bundle of goodies, including a Galaxy Zoo t-shirt and mug, a Galaxy Zoo poster and an original Sloan Digital Sky Survey plate! As well as this, we’re giving away individual prizes to one person at random for each collection of 250,000 classifications.
The prizes kicked off with the 57,000,000th classification, which was achieved last night at about 2100 UT (see extremely geeky screenshot). One of the 250,000 classifications that led us to the 57,000,000 mark will now be selected at random to win a Galaxy Zoo mousepad. We will also be picking a winner from the 57,000,000 – 57,250,000 range as well. The winners will be posted on the Zoonometer™ page. We are appaoraching 57,500,000 as I type this.
If you want to take part, all you have to do is what you do best: classify galaxies! It will also help if you make sure you’re Zooniverse email address is up to date so we can contact you if you’re a winner.
60 Million Target Explained
With 60,000,000 classifications in the database, the Galaxy Zoo 2 project will have reached a critical point. 60 million classifications represents our minimum, ideal database. With that many classifications you, the participants, will have collectively classified every galaxy enough times to create an incredibly robust, well-defined and scientifically valid catalogue of Sloan galaxies. Beyond the 60 million classifications, every additional click still goes into the database – it just means that our minimum science goal is achieved.
What is an SDSS Plate?
The person who classifies the 60 millionth galaxy will win an original Sloan Digital Sky Survey plate. These plates are quite large and make amazing memorabilia, since they were actually used to observe galaxies by the SDSS. We are lucky enough to have one of these plates at Zooniverse HQ, to give away. 640 holes have been drilled into the plate, with each hole corresponding to the position of a selected galaxy, quasar or star in the sky. During observations, scientists plug the holes with optical fibre cables. The fibres simultaneously capture light from the 640 objects and record the results in CCDs. The plates are interchangeable with the CCD camera at the focal plane of the telescope. You can read more about how the SDSS performed observations on their own webpages.