Tag Archive | Advent Calendar

Mergers Author Poster


The final in our series of Zooniverse project posters, created from the names of contributors, is Galaxy Zoo Mergers. The posters features an image of the Antennae Galaxies made up of the names of the 13,000 mergers participants who agreed to have their names published.

You can download the large, 5000-pixel version (15 MB) or the smaller 3,000-pixel version (6 MB).

Galaxy Zoo Image of the Year

The 19th door opened of the Zooniverse Advent Calendar leads us to M51, the beautiful Whirlpool Galaxy, taken on the SDSS telescope that we used for Galaxy Zoos 1 and 2.

For a few days after 25th November, the Galaxy Zoo Forum nominated their favourite galactic images from the thousands gathered over our three and a half years of existence, and voted on 48 of them. Here was the selection – as you see, it was a tough choice!


The winner was the stunning blue spiral, merging with a yellow galaxy so torn apart by gravitational forces that it would be hard to classify!


M51 is 33 million light years away and so bright that it has potential to fry the SDSS camera’s delicate optical instruments – so SDSS avoided looking at it too directly. Therefore, it has no reference number; but you can go into its pages and move up, down, right and left by adjusting the RA and DEC until you can more or less centre in on it.

M51 was discovered by Charles Messier, and put into his collection of objects that he thought were pain-in-the-neck smudges giving him false hopes of having discovered a comet! Jules wrote an Object of the Day about him and some of our other Messier Objects on the forum here. The pair of galaxies are also known as NGC 5194 and 5195. I’ve seen them described as 23 million, 31 million and 33 million light years away. The spiral is large, and famous for its dust lanes and intense star formation. You can resolve it in dark skies with a good pair of binoculars; it’s in the constellation Canes Venatici, though you find it just south-west of the brightest star of the Plough’s “saucepan handle”.

You can see a great deal more of this gorgeous object at Hubblesite, Astrocruise, NOAO and four different views altogether (and probably quite a few more) on APOD! The SDSS Telescope also has it proudly displayed on its home page, with a caption if you zoom in.

It won by only 1 vote; many other galaxies got almost as many. We’ve had plenty of time at Galaxy Zoo now to decide which galaxies we love best . . . and the answer is quite often “all of them”. M51 has never had any special attention on the forum that I recall, though it has of course had its fair share of admiration. I guess there are just too many things there to love!

A galactically happy Christmas to all our zooites from our oldest Zooniverse project.

A Very Forum Christmas


The Galaxy Zoo forum is a hub of activity in the Zooniverse. they talk about everything from merging galaxies, to supernovae and even tea and biscuits. Compared to these tea-drinking stalwarts of the Zooniverse community, I am a relative newcomer. I often wonder what they talk about for ages amongst those many forum sections and threads. For the Zooniverse Advent Calendar I thought I would find out – in the process I made a Christmas card for the forum!

I have taken every word from every forum posting of 2010 (over 100,000 posts) and given it to the Tagxedo website. The result is this lovely Christmas tree made up of all the most popular words used in the Galaxy Zoo forum. The size of the words shows their popularity, and only the 600 most popular words are shown in the image.

You’ll not surprised to see words like ‘galaxy’, ‘hubble’ and ‘universe’ in there. You might be more amused by the inordinate number of smilies that decorate the tree. I enjoyed the random alignment of the words ‘think different’ – which seemed very appropriate. You can also see the names of many of the forum’s more active members as well as words such as ‘friendship’, ‘welcome’ and ‘love’.

You can grab the image in 16 megapixel and 4 megapixel formats. Merry Christmas to our forum zooites!

Galaxy Zoo: Supernova Author Poster

Supernova Poster

For day one of the Zooniverse Advent Calendar we finally gave you the Galaxy Zoo 2 Author Poster. That project is complete, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t create similar thank-yous for the other Zooniverse projects. So here is the Galaxy Zoo: Supernova Author Poster!

13,400 individuals, who have taken part in the Supernova project to date, merged into an amazing image of the famous supernova 1987a. You can download the largest size (18MB), or the 2500-pixels version (6MB). There is also an equivalent author page on the Supernova website.

Galaxy Zoo 2 Author Poster

Zoo 2 Author Poster Sample

We’ve been meaning to do this for a while now and the Zooniverse Advent Calendar gives us the perfect excuse: the Galaxy Zoo 2 author poster. The poster shows the Sombrero Galaxy (M104) made up of the 51,000 names of Galaxy Zoo 2 volunteers who gave permission for us to display their names. Every person named on this poster has classified at least one galaxy and thus been a part of Zooniverse history.

You can download the smaller version (6.5MB) or the larger 7000 pixel version (25MB). You can take these posters and do what you like with them – print them, create wallpapers etc. You can also access the full list of names at http://zoo2.galaxyzoo.org/authors if you want to get a better look at the list.

Zoo 2 Author Poster Sample

If you do anything fun with these images or data, then please get in touch and share it via the comments section below.

UPDATE: Thanks to some eagle-eyed users we noticed that we were missing a few names (about 16,000!) so the poster has been updated. The Galaxy Zoo 2 Authors page will be update tomorrow. Sorry for the mix up but I think we have it right now.