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The Hubble Space Telescope began collecting images in 2010. There are about 3 billion pixels of images and that’s where volunteers are needed. “We are hoping to recruit volunteers to look through them and identify groups of stars that we call 'star clusters,'" said Anil Seth, an organizer of the Andromeda Project and an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Utah.
Conducting a big project like this on the web is a natural, Seth said. "People do all sorts of things online. They look at Facebook, look at stupid videos on YouTube. So this is something that, maybe, rather than doing that, you can help us do science.”
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The Andromeda galaxy is the closest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. For a hundred years, Andromeda (also known by its Messier Catalog identifier, M31) has played an important role in shaping our view of the Universe. In the early 1920's, Edwin Hubble's observations of Andromeda confirmed for the first time that galaxies lie outside of the Milky Way, and that Andromeda must contain billions of stars. Today, Andromeda is a template for understanding how spiral galaxies form and evolve.
The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey (public webpage here) opens a new window on Andromeda. This ongoing, four-year Hubble Space Telescope (HST) project will map one-third of Andomeda's spiral disk at six wavelengths ranging from the near-infrared to the ultraviolet (Dalcanton +2012). The HST images have exquisite resolution, allowing PHAT to reveal more than 100 million stars by the time the survey is complete. This beautiful data set is the heart of the Andromeda Project.
Help researchers understand the awesomeness of the Andromeda galaxy, because one day we'll be in it...
The article sort of explains what the credit is for, by inference:
Originally posted by CeeRZ
Signing up only requires a username and email. They say you get credit though.... So I wonder what credit.
On some other internet projects I've worked on I've seen some people have either bad eyesight or poor cognitive abilities, or perhaps both. But I wonder if they show you how well you rank and if you're one of the "good" ones or one of the "bad" ones? If someone is really bad at it, let them know so they can stop wasting their time!
But what if the volunteers are bad at identifying clusters? The project creators have come with a way to rank individuals and see how well they do with the task.