Galaxy zoo 2: Detailed morphological classifications for 304 122 galaxies from the sloan digital sky survey

Kyle W Willett, Chris J. Lintott, Steven P. Bamford, Karen L. Masters, Brooke D. Simmons, Kevin R.V. Casteels, Edward M. Edmondson, Lucy F Fortson, Sugata Kaviraj, William C. Keel, Thomas Melvin, Robert C. Nichol, M. Jordan Raddick, Kevin Schawinski, Robert J. Simpson, Ramin A. Skibba, Arfon M. Smith, Daniel Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the data release for Galaxy Zoo 2 (GZ2), a citizen science project with more than 16 million morphological classifications of 304 122 galaxies drawn from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).Morphology is a powerful probe for quantifying a galaxy's dynamical history; however, automatic classifications of morphology (either by computer analysis of images or by using other physical parameters as proxies) still have drawbacks when compared to visual inspection. The large number of images available in current surveys makes visual inspection of each galaxy impractical for individual astronomers. GZ2 uses classifications from volunteer citizen scientists to measure morphologies for all galaxies in the DR7 Legacy survey with mr > 17, in addition to deeper images from SDSS Stripe 82. While the original GZ2 project identified galaxies as early-types, late-types or mergers, GZ2 measures finer morphological features. These include bars, bulges and the shapes of edge-on disks, as well as quantifying the relative strengths of galactic bulges and spiral arms. This paper presents the full public data release for the project, including measures of accuracy and bias. The majority ({greater-than or approximate}90 per cent) of GZ2 classifications agree with those made by professional astronomers, especially for morphological T-types, strong bars and arm curvature. Both the raw and reduced data products can be obtained in electronic format at http://data.galaxyzoo.org.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2835-2860
Number of pages26
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume435
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Catalogues
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • Galaxies: general
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Methods: data analysis

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