Speaker: Karen Masters
Location: Winchester Science Festival
[http://winchesterscifest.org/ Winchester Science Festival ]
We live in a universe filled with galaxies with an amazing variety of sizes and shapes. One of the biggest challenges for astronomers working in this field is to understand how all these types relate to each other in the background of an expanding universe. I will talk about how our knowledge of the different types of galaxies have evolved since we first understood they were objects outside our own Milky Way galaxy. Modern astronomical surveys (like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) have revolutionized this field of astronomy, by providing vast numbers of galaxies to study. The sheer size of the these databases made traditional visual classification of the types galaxies impossible and in 2007 inspired the Galaxy Zoo project (www.galaxyzoo.org); starting the largest ever scientific collaboration by asking members of the public to help classify galaxies by type and shape. Galaxy Zoo has since shown itself, in a series of now almost 30 scientific papers, to be a fantastic database for the study of galaxy evolution.