Galaxy Zoo Talk

Overlapping-galaxy systems - from Galaxy Zoo to Hubble

  • NGC3314 by NGC3314 scientist

    For several months now we've been getting Hubble images of a sample of backlit spiral galaxies taken partly from the Galaxy Zoo catalog and partly from the GAMA survey, in the STARSMOG project. The sample requirements are (1) spiral galaxy in the foreground and (2) redshift difference so large that the two galaxies are clearly not interacting with one another. This project took several tries to get scheduled for Hubble (I credit Benne Holwerda as the principal investigator this time, who also came up with the very appropriate STARSMOG acronym). This is a snapshot program, particularly suited for statistical investigations; we get 15-minute exposure sets when there is a gap between longer schedule blocks. So far we have single-filter data for 42 galaxy pairs; I've been tweeting many of the images. We may get a total of as many as 150 over a two-year span. I'l try inserting the most recent, UGC 5870, with a pointer to the Twitter server to see whether it works:

    enter image description here

    The most informative are often the ones showing distinct dust lanes against the background galaxy, sometimes so far out in the foreground galaxy that it's too dim to show them distinctly by its own light. This is one of the project goals - dust lanes in the outer parts of galaxies. Another part, added to our previous work on the Galaxy Zoo sample, is comparison with backlit systems from Hubble Zoo, to trace the cosmic evolution of dust using a single technique over a wide range in comic time. Simulations still yield a wide range in behavior, so we can make a useful contribution by narrowing down the range of possibilities.

    Thanks to all who have looked for these systems and pointed them out!


  • Budgieye by Budgieye moderator

    Great that you got more time on Hubble Space Telescope.


  • ElisabethB by ElisabethB moderator

    Great news indeed ! 😄


  • elizabeth_s by elizabeth_s

    😃 😃 COOL