I’ll post a proper update about Galaxy Zooand more amazing images later, but I wanted to respond to those of you clamouring for extra buttons. For now, the task is to get a sense of how the galaxies fit into these two major classifications. They’re used almost routinely in the literature as shorthand for two groups of galaxies whose properties are different; ‘old, large’ ellipticals and ‘young dynamic’ spirals. What we don’t know is what the properties of these two large groups of galaxies are IF you do that selection properly, by eye – and we’re now very close to finding out thanks to your hard, hard work. Now, you don’t have to spend more than two minutes in the Zoo to realise that these are very diffuse groups. At times, it’s like splitting animals into vertebrate or invertibrate and trying to draw conclusions from that. Actually, that’s a pretty good analogy because that’s the stage we’ve got to – we don’t yet have enough detail to make finer divisions which are meaningful.
However, thanks to those of you who’ve come to help we might now be able to do that, and we’re looking at ways to let you make a completely free classification, perhaps by picking galaxies which are similar to each other from a selection. Once this first cut is done, we’ll get working on it.
P.S. I have to say thanks to Stuart, who has been keeping the team inspired with his writings about our zoo.