I’m delighted to announce that after a very successful beta test period, our first non-astrophysical project, Solar Stormwatch has gone live. Our science team, led by Chris Davis, is standing by ready to receive the results of your hard work. As he explains on his post over at the SSW blog, the results are already intriguing and we’re hoping for much, much more.
I’ve been working closely with Zookeeper Geza recently, to figure out how to provide better support for those of you who are doing your own research in addition to classifying galaxies. (Stay tuned for more on that.) In addition to being the awesome, Geza has a wonderful analogy for what we are all working together to do. I’d like to share that analogy with you in story form. A few years ago, I joined a twice-weekly lunchtime basketball game with some of the science faculty at the Hopkins Gym.
This morning we made some major changes to the way you manage your account with Galaxy Zoo and the Zooniverse. Previously all account management (e.g. changing your email address) was done through the Galaxy Zoo site however the changes that we made this morning have moved those pages to the Zooniverse Home.
From the Zooniverse you can now manage your profile for both the projects (such as Galaxy Zoo) and also any of the Zooniverse forums. I’ve recorded a quick screencast demonstrating the changes here.
As part of the update today we also upgraded the Galaxy Zoo forum to the latest (and greatest) version of SMF. The changes we made today were made possible by the hard work of the whole Zooniverse developer team, in particular Jarod Luebbert and Pamela Gay – thanks for your help guys!
Our paper on the correlation of spins and past star formation was accepted today to the MNRAS. This was after a very positive and insightful referee report, which helped us make the paper stronger. next steps are to look for the effect in numerical simulations and increase the size of the observational sample. Because the above correlation is a very particular prediction of hierarchical galaxy formation, it raises the bar for alternative theories of galaxy formation to produce such effect.
Greetings. My name is Mansi Kasliwal and I am pursuing my PhD thesis at Caltech. The goal of my thesis is finding novel cosmic explosions too bright to be novae and too faint to be supernovae! The has churned out several candidates (even last night) and is counting on you all to discover some fun transients among them. Tonight, I am at the 10-m Keck telescope in Hawaii. I am using the “LRIS” spectrograph. This gigantic piece of glass is superb at thumb-printing transients. In less than 5 min, I can take a spectrum of a PTF transient and tell you what type of star blew up and what elements it was made of. The weather is predicted to be quite nice and it should be a lovely, long winter night as I’m snuggling in with my hot garcinia cambogia tea. Thank you all for joining the fun of discovering new cosmic explosions! Clear Skies and Mahalo.
I’m very proud to launch the Zooniverse today; if you haven’t found the main site yet, then click here to explore. Zooniverse will provide a home not just for Galaxy Zoo (and its friends like the Mergers and Supernova Hunting), but for our ever-growing suite of projects.
These will include new astronomy projects – one of which will have its beta version launched very soon – but also from the rest of science and beyond. There’s one common thread; each project needs your help to increase our understanding of the Universe, and will produce results that could not happen without you. We hope you’ll explore, and soon be able find a project for every occasion.
For those who are happy in Galaxy Zoo, and who don’t want to be distracted by whatever’s coming next, you should notice very little difference. The Galaxy Zoo blog has found a new home, but that’s about it. For everyone else, the enormous amount of work that’s gone into the machinery that powers the Zooniverse should make it easy to move from project to project as the mood takes you.
We’ve been hurtling unknowingly toward the Zooniverse since the day Galaxy Zoo launched, way back in July 2007. As servers melted and emails piled up in our inbox, it was obvious that we’d underestimated the number of people who wanted to spend time helping us out. Zoo 2 confirmed that that appetite was still there, and projects like Mergers show that you’re more than capable of taking more complicated tasks off our hands.
Alongside the Zooniverse itself, a web home for the organisation we’ve put together to run our projects – the Citizen Science Alliance – has also been launched. Each of the organisations that make up the Alliance, and our other partners too, believes that making use of your skills, talents and energy is not only helpful in dealing with the flood of data confronting us, but it is necessary.
As we work hard to make that possible, we hope the Zooniverse will become a home for you all. To remind us who we’re working for, profiles of Zooites will always feature on the Zooniverse home page. Between us, we can make more of the vast reservoirs of images, videos and data modern science creates – it should be an exciting ride.