Stellar Discoveries: GALAXY CRUISE’s First Dive Into Colliding Galaxies

Interacting Galaxies GALAXY CRUISE

Galaxies identified as showing strong signs of interactions in GALAXY CRUISE. Credit: NAOJ

GALAXY CRUISE, with the help of 10,000 citizen astronomers, discovers that galaxies’ star formation rate surges during collisions, as highlighted in their first scientific paper.

The citizen science project GALAXY CRUISE has yielded its first scientific paper. The results show unambiguously that the star formation rate is enhanced in colliding galaxies. This research was made possible by the approximately 10,000 citizen astronomers who helped classify galaxies in data from the Subaru Telescope.

Astronomy survey programs are producing more high-resolution data than astronomers can analyze. Great strides are being made in computerized data processing, but for some tasks, the human eye is still the most accurate measurement device. To process the data, professional astronomers led by Masayuki Tanaka in the GALAXY CRUISE project ask private citizens to look at the data and help classify the features of galaxies.

Based on the more than 2 million classifications by about 10,000 citizen astronomers over the course of two and a half years, GALAXY CRUISE has published its first scientific paper.

The presented results show that when galaxies collide and merge with each other, it increases the rate at which new stars are formed in the galaxies.

The GALAXY CRUISE project is continuing to see what other secrets can be found in the data with the help of citizen astronomers. For more details, please refer to the GALAXY CRUISE website.

For more on this research and GALAXY CRUISE, see Astronomers and Citizen Sleuths Uncover Galactic Secrets.

Reference: “Galaxy Cruise: Deep Insights into Interacting Galaxies in the Local Universe” by Masayuki Tanaka, Michitaro Koike, Sei’ichiro Naito, Junko Shibata, Kumiko Usuda-Sato, Hitoshi Yamaoka, Makoto Ando, Kei Ito, Umi Kobayashi, Yutaro Kofuji, Atsuki Kuwata, Suzuka Nakano, Rhythm Shimakawa, Ken-ichi Tadaki, Suguru Takebayashi, Chie Tsuchiya, Tomofumi Umemoto and Connor Bottrell, 26 September 2023, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.
DOI: 10.1093/pasj/psad055

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