May 25, 2020

13.03.10: Galaxy Zoo vs. the WWT.

Students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville have successfully merged two outstanding resources into a single, powerful tool. Recently, Microsoft unveiled the WorldWide Telescope, (WWT) an online resource that allows users to browse images and data culled from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. When they looked at classifying the myriad of galaxies presented, they turned toward another awesome resource; Galaxy Zoo, a citizen science project that encourages users to analyze and identify galaxy types. Now, software designed by students Mark Sands and Jarod Luebbert gives the quarter million users of Galaxy Zoo an interface to travel through the simulated universe of the WWT and share these gems with other users in a custom tailored tour. Pamela Gay, of Astronomy Cast fame, laded the effort; “Now it is possible to share these jewels with people who can’t see my screen…they’ve made it possible for all of us to inflict our favorite galaxies on everyone in our lives.” Awesome job indeed, Mark & Jarod!

The Universe of Astronomy Podcasting.




Technology has changed nearly every aspect of astronomy. We’ve gone from auto guiding long exposures on hyper-sensitized film to automated observatories that patrol the skies while we sleep. Technology is just plain cool. It’s hard to imagine that slightly more than a decade ago, the Internet was non-existent, processors were measured in kilobytes, and the latest issue of Sky & Telescope was telling us about that brief comet that had already come and gone.

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