Round #1 Complete!
Congratulations!!! The Andromeda Project team is happy to announce that we’ve completed the first installment of the project! In a little over two weeks, more than ten thousand dedicated citizen scientists produced one million image classifications, resulting in thousands of star cluster and galaxy identifications in images of the Andromeda galaxy.
We’ll be back in a few months with a second installment of data, but already citizen scientist volunteers have provided a rich, interesting set of objects for the science team to study. In the meantime, feel free to continue using the site: we’ll continue to record and use classifications that filter in over the next week or two. However, we’ve got the information we need for this batch of images. (In the meantime – check out some of the other Zooniverse projects that still need your help!)
This unbelievable response has surpassed all expectations from our team. Personally, I’ve been blown away by what you’ve accomplished. Before launch, the science team hoped to obtain between 20 and 50 classifications for each of our 12,000+ images over a period of a month or two. In only 16 days, we’ve obtained 80+ classifications per image, which allow us to build an extremely robust catalog of clusters and galaxies. In addition, the critical information that we’ve collected through the synthetic cluster tests will allow us to accurately interpret this sample of clusters, providing the science team an unprecedented opportunity to study cluster formation and destruction processes.
As a way of thanking everyone who participated in the project, I wanted to share a few preliminary results to show what all your hard work has help to produce.
After collecting and merging everyone’s classifications, we’ve produced an initial catalog of clusters and galaxies. Together, Andromeda Project participants have identified approximately 2,600 star clusters in Andromeda as well as about 1,400 background galaxies. These numbers are preliminary as we are still processing the final data and refining our analysis, however, we already know for sure that this catalog represents a huge improvement over our initial PHAT-based Year 1 cluster catalog and earlier ground-based work.
As we said before, this is not the end of the Andromeda Project. We will return with a second set of data to classify in a few months time. But more importantly, now much of the science can begin! For starters, I will be presenting a poster of initial results at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) conference in Long Beach, CA that runs from January 7-10, 2013. Be sure to check back here on the blog, as I’ll talk about these results and other exciting developments as they come along.
We can’t say it enough – thank you for all your hard work. Not only do we appreciate your classification assistance, but you’ve really inspired us with your enthusiasm towards the project and your willingness to help do great science.
Cliff and the Andromeda Project Team