Scientists based at the ARI have launched a new project enlisting the support of citizen scientist volunteers from around the world to help classify the morphologies of 50,000 galaxies in the local Universe. ARI scientists from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey have teamed up with Galaxy Zoo, a crowdsourced astronomy project which invites members of the public to help classify the shapes and structures of large numbers of galaxies.
Our sample of galaxy images were observed on the 2.6m VLT Survey Telescope (VST) located at the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile by the VST Kilo-Degree (KiDS) survey team. In collaboration with GAMA, KiDS and Galaxy Zoo, we have carefully constructed images for every galaxy in our sample to accurately bring out the structure of each object. The results from these classifications will help us explore if, how, when, and where galaxies transition from one morphological type into another, what impact this has on the formation of stars, and to look for new types of unique and interesting galaxies.
Over the last 24 hours, over 30,000 classifications have already been made by thousands of people around the world. The extra depth of the GAMA-KiDS imaging allows us to see more detail in each galaxy than has previously been possible, opening up many new possibilities for discovery.
We'd like to encourage as many of you as possible to get involved in helping us classify these galaxies! Your classifications really help, and it is only through your efforts than we can hope to address some of the fundamental questions in modern observational astronomy. To get started, head over to Galaxy Zoo and click 'Begin Classifying'.
If you have any questions, please do get in touch and we'd be more than happy to answer them! Email Dr Lee Kelvin (L.S.Kelvin@ljmu.ac.uk) or Professor Ivan Baldry (I.Baldry@ljmu.ac.uk)