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Researchers publish enormous catalog of
more than 300,000 nearby galaxies
September 23, 2013: More than 83,000 volunteer
citizen scientists. Over 16 million galaxy classifi-
cations. Information on more than 300,000 galax-
ies. This is what you get when you ask the public
for help in learning more about our universe.
The project, named Galaxy Zoo 2, is the second
phase of a crowdsourcing effort to categorize
galaxies in our universe. Researchers say comput-
ers are good at automatically measuring proper-
ties such as size and color of galaxies, but more
challenging characteristics, such as shape and
structure, can currently only be determined by
the human eye.
An international
group of resear-
chers, led by the
University of
Minnesota, has
just produced a
catalog of this
new galaxy data.
This catalog is
10 times larger than any previous catalog of its
kind. It is available online at,
and a paper describing the project and data was
published today in the Monthly Notices of the
Royal Astronomical Society.
¡°This catalog is the first time we¡¯ve been able to
gather this much information about a popula-
tion of galaxies,¡± said Kyle Willett, a physics
and astronomy postdoctoral researcher in the
University of Minnesota¡¯s College of Science and
Engineering and the paper¡¯s lead author. ¡°People
all over the world are beginning to examine the
data to gain a more detailed understanding of
galaxy types.¡±
Between Feb. 2009 and April 2010, more than
83,000 Galaxy Zoo 2 volunteers from around the
world looked at images online gathered from the
Sloan Digital Sky Survey. They answered ques-
tions about the galaxy, including whether it had
spirals, the number of spiral arms present, or if
it had galactic bars, which are long extended fea-
tures that represent a concentration of stars. Each
image was classified an average of 40-45 times to
ensure accuracy. More than 16 million classifica-
tions of more than 300,000 galaxies were gathered
representing about 57 million computer clicks.
When volunteers were asked why they got in-
volved in the project, the most common answer
was because they enjoyed contributing to science.
Researchers estimate that the effort of the volun-
The Good News
2013 October
Pg 4 - The Sunshine Express
News 3a
teers on this project represents about 30 years of
full-time work by one researcher.
¡°With today¡¯s high-powered telescopes, we are
gathering so many new images that astronomers
just can¡¯t keep up with detailed classifications,¡±
said Lucy Fortson, a professor of physics and as-
tronomy in the University of Minnesota¡¯s College
of Science and Engineering and one of the co-au-
thors of the research paper. ¡°We could never have
produced a data catalog like this without crowd-
sourcing help from the public.¡±
Fortson said Galaxy Zoo 2 is similar to a census
of the galaxies. With this new catalog, research-
ers now have a snapshot of the different types of
galaxies as they are today. The next catalog will tell
us about galaxies in the distant past. The catalogs
together will let us understand how our universe is
To help create the next catalog, volunteer citizen
scientists continue to be needed for the project. To
participate, visit No special
skills are needed, and volunteers can start clas-
sifying galaxies and helping the scientists within
minutes of going to the website.
In addition to Fortson and Willett, other authors
of the research paper include Chris Lintott, Ox-
ford Astrophysics and Adler Planetarium; Steven
Bamford, University of Nottingham; Karen Mas-
ters, Robert Nichol and Daniel Thomas, University
of Portsmouth and South East Physics Network;
Brooke Simmons and Robert Simpson, Oxford As-
trophysics; Kevin Casteels, University of Barcelona;
Edward Edmondson and Thomas Melvin, Univer-
sity of Portsmouth; Sugata Kaviraj, Oxford Astro-
physics and University of Hertfordshire; William
Keel, University of Alabama; M. Jordan Raddick,
Johns Hopkins University; Kevin Schawinski, ETH
Zurich; Ramin Skibba, University of California, San
Diego; and Arfon Smith, Adler Planetarium.
The research was funded primarily by the National
Science Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust.
Galaxy Zoo is one of the many online citizen sci-
ence projects made available by the
To read the full research paper entitled ¡°Galaxy
Zoo 2: detailed morphological classifications for
304,122 galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Sur-
vey,¡± visit the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astro-
nomical Society website at: mnras.oxfordjournals.
An Amazing One Stop Shop
Since the release of his 1997 major label de-
but, Lie To Me, the then-16-year-old singer/
songwriter Jonny Lang has built a reputa-
tion as one of the best live performers and
guitarists of his generation. A blues artist
who respects and reveres the traditions of
the past, Lang embraces the more complex
and evolved genres, grafting them to the
blues foundation to create a hybrid sound
that is simultaneously traditional and fresh.
Jonny Lang at Ft Lewis College
300,000 Galaxies Catalogued
¡°Alone We Can Do So Little
Together We Can Do So Much¡±
The above quote by Helen Keller, is the motto of
over 75 local businesses located in one great loca-
tion at Shabby Chic¡¯ Boutiques, making it western
Colorado¡¯s most unique shopping destination.
Looking for something unique? Shop Shabby
Chic Boutiques. It¡¯s the perfect place to find
something for everyone from art, apparel and
antiques, to woodwork, furniture, gourmet food,
souvenirs, soap, toys, home d¨¦cor and so much
more! This hot spot to shop even has pottery, pet
products, dolls & doll clothing, NOTW apparel,
metal art and yard art.
Have special school pictures and fabulous family
photos taken for the upcoming holidays, or get
down and dirty with some real Old West Pho-
tography. If they don¡¯t have it, they can usually
make it. That¡¯s right! Not only does Shabby Chic
Boutiques have one-of-a kind products, they also
do special orders for all occasions. They provide
custom machine embroidery, screen printing
and invitations. Creativity is limited only to the
imagination at this amazing one stop shop.
¡°It¡¯s been our collective dream to have our own
store front,¡± states owner Connie Ferguson,
¡°Alone we could do so little, but together we have
done so much. Shabby Chic¡¯ has no paid employ-
ees and is managed and operated by over 75 vol-
unteers who love what they do and are blessed to
be able to do it. The community has been spectac-
ular and have made this Chic¡¯ Boutique a success
by supporting 75 of their neighbors, simply by
shopping local.¡±
On October 31, from 5:30 to 7p, the Shabby Chic¡¯
will host a safe environment for families to enjoy
Halloween. Join them for a special spooky spot,
witches brew and candy too! It will be an evening
of family fun for free!
On November 9, from 10a to 4p, the community
is invited to a special Open House Celebration
for The Lavender Shoppe at Shabby Chic¡¯. Enjoy
special presentations on lavender, refreshments,
prizes and entertainment. It will be a fun filled
day for free!
Shabby Chic Boutiques is located at 2586 Patter-
son Road in the heart of Grand Junction, CO and
is open 9:30a-5:30p, Monday through Saturday.
For more information call 970.314.7278.
Lang is currently touring in promotion of his
new studio album, Fight For My Soul and will
perform in the Community Concert Hall at Fort
Lewis College on Wednesday, Oct 23. Special
guest ¡®Honor By August¡¯ will open. 970.247.7657.
Historic Mural Restored
Cortez Cultural Center presents Mariah Kamin-
sky¡¯s work in the Gallery, October 6- November 2.
Join us October 18, 5-7p, at the Center for the open-
ing reception. Mariah Kaminsky has restored
Buford Wayt¡¯s mural on the north side of
the Cultural Center. Her mining mural was
completed this summer on the east side
of Garcia & Co. Jewelers. Come meet the
muralist and see restoration of the historic
mural. The Cortez Cultural Center is grate-
ful to Buford Wayt for the original work and
to the City of Cortez for the funds to restore
the mural.
Cortez Cultural Center is a 501c3 organiza-
tion whose mission is to provide a forum
for the community¡¯s educational, cultural,
artistic and scientific interests. The Cortez
Cultural Center provides an opportunity
for local and regional artists to display their
Cortez Cultural Center 25 N Market St, Cor-
tez, 970.565.1151 www.cortezculturalcenter.