10,000 citizen astronomers have helped classify galaxies in data from the Subaru Telescope as part of the citizen science project GALAXY CRUISE
The first scientific paper produced from the project shows unambiguously that the star formation rate is enhanced in colliding galaxies.
Astronomy survey programs are producing more high-resolution data than astronomers can analyse. Great strides are being made in computerized data processing, but for some tasks, the human eye is still the most accurate measurement device. To process the data, professional astronomers led by Masayuki Tanaka in the GALAXY CRUISE project ask private citizens to look at the data and help classify the features of galaxies. Based on the more than 2 million classifications by about 10,000 citizen astronomers over the course of two and a half years, GALAXY CRUISE has published its first scientific paper.
The results show that when galaxies collide and merge with each other, it increases the rate at which new stars are formed in the galaxies.
The GALAXY CRUISE project is continuing to see what other secrets can be found in the data with the help of citizen astronomers. For more details, click on this link to the GALAXY CRUISE website.
The paper, GALAXY CRUISE: Deep Insights into Interacting Galaxies in the Local Universe, is published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.