Monday, November 7, 2011

Ten Most Amazing Databases in the World

I'm not sure who got to decide, but the Sloan Digital Sky Survey made this list of the Ten Most Amazing Databases in the World. This is the database the whole of Galaxy Zoo and Galaxy Zoo 2 was based on, and which has formed the basis of quite a substantial amount of the astronomical research I've been involved in, so I have to say for me it's probably number 1! Visit the SDSS Website for more information.

Galaxy Zoo Bars are (partially) triggered by environment

Over on the Galaxy Zoo blog this morning I explain our work on how the chance of a disc galaxy hosting a bar or a bulge depends on the environment it lives in (direct link to blog post). A paper about the work, led by Ramin Skibba, has just been submitted to MNRAS and appears on astroph this morning.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What is a Galaxy (QI style)?

I'm a big fan of QI, so it was fun when Brian Cox was on it recently and the whole show was peppered with astronomy.

I was amused to find them mention the interesting paper by Duncan Forbes and Pavel Kroupa in which they consider what the definition of a galaxy is. Luckily someone posted the segment on You Tube:

Earlier this year when they posted the discussion on the arxiv, Duncan and Pavel opened it up for a vote - in good "citizen science" style. Of course this caught my "Galaxy Zoo" eye so I blogged about it last Feb (2011).

It's on my mind tonight as I prepare to talk about "What is a Galaxy?" tomorrow night as part of the Intech Science Centre Adult Only Evening.