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TOPIC: Galaxy Zoo


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Zooniverse
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A call for proposals

Thanks to generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, Adler Planetarium and the Citizen Science Alliance is pleased to announce the first open call for proposals by researchers who wish to develop citizen science projects which take advantage of the experience, tools and community of the Zooniverse.
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Citizen Scientists Making Incredible Discoveries
 
And now you can be the one to find it, thanks to Zooniverse, a unique citizen science website. Zooniverse volunteers, who call themselves "Zooites," are working on a project called Galaxy Zoo, classifying distant galaxies imaged by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
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Galaxy Zoo Supernovae
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Title: Galaxy Zoo Supernovae
Authors: A. M. Smith, S. Lynn, M. Sullivan, C. J. Lintott, P. E. Nugent, J. Botyanszki, M. Kasliwal, R. Quimby, S. P. Bamford, L. F. Fortson, K. Schawinski, I. Hook, S. Blake, P. Podsiadlowski, J. Joensson, A. Gal-Yam, I. Arcavi, D. A. Howell, J. S. Bloom, J. Jacobsen, S. R. Kulkarni, N. M. Law, E. O. Ofek, R. Walters

This paper presents the first results from a new citizen science project: Galaxy Zoo Supernovae. This proof of concept project uses members of the public to identify supernova candidates from the latest generation of wide-field imaging transient surveys. We describe the Galaxy Zoo Supernovae operations and scoring model, and demonstrate the effectiveness of this novel method using imaging data and transients from the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We examine the results collected over the period April-July 2010, during which nearly 14,000 supernova candidates from PTF were classified by more than 2,500 individuals within a few hours of data collection. We compare the transients selected by the citizen scientists to those identified by experienced PTF scanners, and find the agreement to be remarkable - Galaxy Zoo Supernovae performs comparably to the PTF scanners, and identified as transients 93% of the ~130 spectroscopically confirmed SNe that PTF located during the trial period (with no false positive identifications). Further analysis shows that only a small fraction of the lowest signal-to-noise SN detections (r > 19.5) are given low scores: Galaxy Zoo Supernovae correctly identifies all SNe with > 8{\sigma} detections in the PTF imaging data. The Galaxy Zoo Supernovae project has direct applicability to future transient searches such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, by both rapidly identifying candidate transient events, and via the training and improvement of existing machine classifier algorithms.

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RE: Galaxy Zoo
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Chris Lintott of the University of Oxford discusses The Galaxy Zoo, an internet-based program for enlisting the help of amateur astronomers in cataloguing other galaxies.

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Galaxy Zoo Supernovae
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Galaxy Zoo Supernovae

Next Observing Run
Date: 2010-08-03 to 2010-08-03
Observatory: The Florence and George Wise Observatory, Negev desert, Israel

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RE: Galaxy Zoo
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Title: Galaxy Zoo 1 : Data Release of Morphological Classifications for nearly 900,000 galaxies
Authors: Chris Lintott, Kevin Schawinski, Steven Bamford, Anze Slosar, Kate Land, Daniel Thomas, Edd Edmondson, Karen Masters, Robert Nichol, Jordan Raddick, Alex Szalay, Dan Andreescu, Phil Murray, Jan Vandenberg

Morphology is a powerful indicator of a galaxy's dynamical and merger history. It is strongly correlated with many physical parameters, including mass, star formation history and the distribution of mass. The Galaxy Zoo project collected simple morphological classifications of nearly 900,000 galaxies drawn from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, contributed by hundreds of thousands of volunteers. This large number of classifications allows us to exclude classifier error, and measure the influence of subtle biases inherent in morphological classification. This paper presents the data collected by the project, alongside measures of classification accuracy and bias. The data are now publicly available and full catalogues can be downloaded in electronic format from this http URL

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Galaxy Zoo Supernovae

Your task in this latest Galaxy Zoo project is to help us catch exploding stars - supernovae. Data for the site is provided by an automatic survey in California, at the world-famous Palomar Observatory, and astronomers are ready to follow up on your best candidates at telescopes around the world.
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Announcing the Galaxy Zoo iPhone App

Following a number of requests we are today releasing the first mobile Zooniverse application: the Galaxy Zoo iPhone app.
The app, which will run on iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads, lets you classify galaxies from our Hubble Galaxy Zoo project from anywhere. It has a slick and simple iPhone interface and will challenge you with the same huge galaxy database as the galaxy zoo website.

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Title: Galaxy Zoo: Reproducing Galaxy Morphologies Via Machine Learning
Authors: Manda Banerji (IoA, Cambridge/UCL), Ofer Lahav (UCL), Chris J. Lintott (Oxford), Filipe B. Abdalla (UCL), Kevin Schawinski, Steven P. Bamford, Dan Andreescu, Phil Murray, M. Jordan Raddick, Anze Slosar, Alex Szalay, Daniel Thomas, Jan Vandenberg
(Version v2)

We present morphological classifications obtained using machine learning for objects in SDSS DR6 that have been classified by Galaxy Zoo into three classes, namely early types, spirals and point sources/artifacts. An artificial neural network is trained on a subset of objects classified by the human eye and we test whether the machine learning algorithm can reproduce the human classifications for the rest of the sample. We find that the success of the neural network in matching the human classifications depends crucially on the set of input parameters chosen for the machine-learning algorithm. The colours and parameters associated with profile-fitting are reasonable in separating the objects into three classes. However, these results are considerably improved when adding adaptive shape parameters as well as concentration and texture. The adaptive moments, concentration and texture parameters alone cannot distinguish between early type galaxies and the point sources/artifacts. Using a set of twelve parameters, the neural network is able to reproduce the human classifications to better than 90% for all three morphological classes. We find that using a training set that is incomplete in magnitude does not degrade our results given our particular choice of the input parameters to the network. We conclude that it is promising to use machine- learning algorithms to perform morphological classification for the next generation of wide-field imaging surveys and that the Galaxy Zoo catalogue provides an invaluable training set for such purposes.

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On Wednesday, April 7, as part of Perimeter Institute's Public Lecture Series, Dr. Chris Lintott, principal investigator of the Galaxy Zoo project, will offer an engaging presentation of the weird and wonderful objects identified by Galaxy Zoo users, a few tales from the ups and downs of citizen science, and a review of the intimate connections between the delicate process of galaxy formation and the evolution of our universe.
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