Astronomers turn to crowd-sourcing for building the largest galaxy catalog on Earth.
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In a stupendous achievement, more than 83,000 volunteer citizen scientists working together have helped catalog over 300,000 galaxies in the largest database of its kind ever amassed, the University of Minnesota (UM) announced today (Sept. 24) in a news release. The new catalog, produced by a UM-led international team of researchers, is described in a paper just published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The Galaxy Zoo project was launched in 2007 as a collaborative effort between researchers from many different institutions, including Oxford University, Yale University, and the University of California, Berkeley. According to co-founder and Oxford physicist Christ Lintott, the idea of recruiting citizen scientists to help classify galaxies was developed to help cope with the mind-numbingly large amount of data produced by modern science.