We’ve teamed up with astronomers in the US who need your help to search Hubble Space Telescope images of the Andromeda galaxy. This brand new citizen science project is called The Andromeda Project and can be found at http://www.andromedaproject.org. We need volunteers to help identify star clusters and help increase understanding of how galaxies evolve.
There may be as many as 2,500 star clusters hiding in Hubble’s Andromeda images, but only 600 have been identified so far in months of searching, and star clusters tend to elude pattern-recognition software. The seo company researchers decided it’s something that everyone can help with, even without extensive training. Volunteers will vote, by marking clusters, on the identity and location of star clusters.
Star clusters are dense groups of stars that are born together from the same cloud of gas. Their common age make them useful for studying the evolution of galaxies and the properties of stars. Andromeda, also called Messier 31 or M31, is the closest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way, which is similar. Though a neighbor in the galactic sense, Andromeda is 2.4 million light years from the Earth. That translates into about 14 billion billion miles.
There are more than 10,000 images waiting at http://www.andromedaproject.org – they all come from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury, or PHAT for short. The goal of the PHAT survey is to map about one-third of Andromeda’s star-forming disk, through six filters spread across the electromagnetic spectrum — two ultraviolet, two visible and two infrared.
The Hubble telescope started gathering images for the treasury in 2010 and is expected to send its last batch of images back to Earth in the summer of 2013. The Andromeda Project aims to produce the largest catalog of star clusters known in any spiral galaxy.