You're sitting on a pile of about a million telescopic photos of the universe, and each one needs to be classified. Bit of a job. So what do you do? Astronomers at the University of Portsmouth, Oxford University, and Johns Hopkins University came up with a solution last week that not only alleviated the burden but also generated an enthusiastic response from the public: They opened up the project to volunteers via the Internet.I sent this along to the science teacher at my school who teaches Astronomy - seems like a good project for the students in that class, don't you think? Now, if we could simply get our hands on that 142 megapixel camera they're using . . .
The goal of the project is to identify and classify galaxies all over the universe and create a distribution map of galactic types--primarily spiral versus elliptical, but with some variations as well.
In order to accomplish this, the three universities opened up the project on a website called GalaxyZoo. Users log into the site, then are shown images of galaxies (and other cosmic entities). They then enter information about they images they see.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Universities Outsource Astronomy . . . To Us
What do you do when you have a lot of data and not enough personnel and time to analyze it? Well, you outsource it of course. In this case, though, they're outsourcing it to us.