NASA, ESA, STScI/AURA
To understand different types of galaxies and how galaxies form, Galaxy Zoo: Hubble needs your help classifying images of hundreds of thousands of galaxies taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. If you’re quick, you may even be the first person in history to see each of the galaxies you’re asked to classify.
Your job is very simple! All you need to do is look out for the features that mark out spiral and elliptical galaxies. There’s a tutorial showing how to classify galaxies according to shape (elliptical, spiral or irregular) and rotation (clockwise or anti-clockwise).
Those involved are directly contributing to scientific research, while getting an opportunity to view the beautiful and varied galaxies that inhabit our universe. Why does Galaxy Zoo need people to do this, rather than just using a computer? The simple answer is that the human brain is much better at recognizing patterns than a computer. Galaxies are complicated objects that vary in appearance enormously, and yet in some ways they can be very similar.
More than 250,000 people have taken part in Galaxy Zoo so far, producing a wealth of valuable data and sending telescopes on Earth and in space chasing after their discoveries. This latest incarnation of Galaxy Zoo uses data from the Hubble Space Telescope to go deeper than ever before. Read ‘The Story So Far’ to find out what has been achieved to date with Galaxy Zoo 1 and Galaxy Zoo 2.