Next Galaxy Zoo Hangout: Friday, the 22nd of March, 2013, 3:30 p.m. GMT (time zones are currently weird since the US has sprung forward but Europe has not, so that’s 4:30 p.m. Central European Time, 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 8:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time).
During the chat, if we use a science term you aren’t familiar with, please use the Jargon Gong by tweeting us with a GONG (example: “@galaxyzoo GONG SPS template fitting“); we’ll be happy to explain!
Update: view the video here!
Next Galaxy Zoo Hangout: Friday, the 8th of March, 2013, 3:30 p.m. GMT
Shortly before the hangout starts, we’ll embed the video in this post so you can watch from here. And during the chat, if we use a science term you aren’t familiar with, please use the Jargon Gong by tweeting us with a GONG (example: “@galaxyzoo GONG forbidden [OIII] atomic transition” — not that I’m quoting the last hangout or anything); we’ll be happy to explain!
Update: video now available at the hangout summary post!
I swear we are consistently trying to keep our live hangouts to about 15 minutes. We have so far failed at keeping to time, but hopefully also succeeded in the sense that we only run over because there’s so much to discuss.
We had a number of good questions from Twitter, Facebook and the blog about various types of galaxies — from red spirals to green peas and blue ellipticals — and I rather arbitrarily decided this was an indication that our hangout should have a color theme. That is, what exactly does “color” mean in the context of astronomy? What is going on physically when a galaxy is one color versus another, or has multiple colors? Is color information always telling us the same thing? We tried to address all those questions, as well as show some examples of different galaxies in the above queried categories. As a bonus, we learned how galaxy colors are related to the town my grandparents retired to. (This post’s title is a quote from the Green Valley Chamber of Commerce’s official website.) That was as much a surprise to me as it was to the viewers!
We also talked about what’s currently going on in Galaxy Zoo behind the scenes. Earlier today, Kyle sent around a really nice draft of the Galaxy Zoo 2 data paper for the team to read and comment on (you’ll have to watch the video to get a sneak peek at some of the figures).
And it’s that time again: Hubble Space Telescope proposals are due in about a week. We talked about the proposal process from concept to submission to review, discussing both specifics of certain telescopes and the general practices that (we hope) help lead to a successful proposal. Here’s a hint: it may not be what you think!
We covered all this and some other questions, too. No wonder we ran a little over…
And here’s the podcast version:
Next Galaxy Zoo Hangout: Friday, the 22nd of February, 2013, 3:30 p.m. GMT
We got a lot of good questions for the last live chat — keep ’em coming! Post your questions below and/or feel free to tweet them @galaxyzoo.
Shortly before the hangout starts, we’ll embed the video in this post so you can watch from here. And during the chat, if we use a science term you aren’t familiar with, please use the Jargon Gong by tweeting us with a GONG (example: “@galaxyzoo GONG spiral density wave”); we’ll be happy to stop and explain!
Update: The summary of the hangout, and the video, are now here.
It’s amazing what happens when you actually publicize your live chat in advance. We got so many questions, we decided to spend the entire chat just discussing them, and we still didn’t finish!
Partly that’s because we had a surprise guest appearance from the esteemed Ron Buta, who came in just after we had talked about some of the details covered in his Galaxy Morphology article (his Figure 3 is shown in the image). Ron worked with Gérard de Vaucouleurs — aka GdV — and told us some amusing stories about trying to take photometric* observations of dwarf galaxies, and about how GdV’s wife used to disagree with his morphologies, at one point looking over his shoulder and proclaiming, “no, there’s no ring”. I rather liked that story as it’s a reminder that anyone can spot patterns in galaxy images.
We’ll try to answer those questions on the previous blog post that we didn’t get to there — but in the meantime, here’s the video:
Left to right: Ron Buta & Bill Keel, Karen Masters, Kevin Schawinski, Brooke Simmons (me). Toward the end (not shown on the thumbnail), Kyle Willett arrived just in time to answer a question about the status of the latest Galaxy Zoo classification set.
We made ample use of the jargon gong on ourselves, but we may not have managed to define all the terms Ron used. We’ll try to do so in this post — if we’ve missed any please say so in the comments!
*photometry = precise quantitative measurements of the brightness of objects in the sky. You need very good observing conditions to take photometric measurements, which many (but not all) astronomical projects require.
Update: Now in podcast form:
Next Galaxy Zoo Live Chat: Friday, the 8th of February, 2013, 3:00 p.m. GMT
Topic: TBA! (Translation: we’re just going to wing it.)
We’ve already had some good questions submitted for our live chat, ranging from detailed inquiries about galaxy evolution to the orbital mechanics of moons. If you have a question for us, post it below and we’ll try to answer it! (You can also tweet questions @galaxyzoo at any time.)
Update: see questions answered in the Live Chat video here!
Last week Karen Masters suggested that we start doing Galaxy Zoo live chats a little more often. I thought that sounded like a great idea, and we figured we’d just have an informal chat about whatever galaxy/Zooniverse topic we felt like discussing that day.
We were joined by Kyle Willett and Kevin Schawinski, and the four of us started talking about this paper, which presents an automated system for classifying and measuring spiral arms. It compares to Galaxy Zoo 2 data within the text, and we talked about what the fact that the computers did pretty well means for the future of Galaxy Zoo. We didn’t prepare anything in advance, and I didn’t even start reading the paper until about 20 minutes before we got going. So my favorite part of the chat is where I put forward a few definitions of pitch angle and get them all wrong. Science in action!
We also introduced the jargon gong, which we used on each other whenever one of us said something in insider-speak. I think this is a feature worth keeping, and we also plan to invite viewers to gong us themselves via Google+ or Twitter for the next chat.
When will the next chat be? We’re not sure yet, but hopefully soon — I promise I’ll even try to make a blog post before we start next time!
Update: We’ve now extracted the audio into an mp3 file and started a podcast: