Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Help classify galaxies!

A new web site has sprung up called the Galaxy Zoo. Now, this web site does not leech off or your computer resources, like Seti@home. But rather, leeches off of your time, like Stardust@home. Why do they need you?

The simple answer is that the human brain is much better at recognising patterns than a computer can ever be. Any computer program we write to sort our galaxies into categories would do a reasonable job, but it would also inevitably throw out the unusual, the weird and the wonderful. To rescue these interesting systems which have a story to tell, we need you.
After hundreds of thousands of years of evolution and pattern seeking, those skills are needed by astronomers to help classify galaxies. Now, you first need to take a tutorial and a short quiz. No, I'm not telling you the answers. But have fun!

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