The Cat's Eye Nebula: Dying Star Creates Fantasy-like Sculpture of Gas and Dust  
NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
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Within archival and incoming astronomy data sits a treasury of untapped discovery. To transform this image wealth into scientific wealth, humans are needed to look for the things computers can’t yet discern. With the Galaxy Zoo Project, we have proven that citizen scientists clicking through images at home and at school possess the abilities needed to classify astronomical objects, and when networked together humans - housewives and schoolchildren - can make meaningful discoveries.

We plan to build on Galaxy Zoo and extend the methodology to additional datasets and to new astronomical problems. Our Universal Zoo of discovery, our Zoo’niverse” will go live in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy. The central theme of IYA is, “The Universe - Yours to Discover.” Zoo’niverse is part of the IYA, and with our interface we’ll meet IYA’s goal by:  1) allowing anyone online to analyze astronomy data, 2) increasing understanding of the scientific process through training tools and interactive forums, and 3) producing not only excellent opportunities for outreach but also a legacy of published discoveries.

Today, we have in place a creative team of scientists, programmers and educators ready to build a Zoo for you to play in an. Exhibits will include data from: Hubble Space Telescope, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mercury MESSENGER. Look for the doors to open in the Spring of 2009!


International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA)