Galaxy Zoo Talk

Noobie here - am I actually helping?

  • monk.e.boy by monk.e.boy


    Often when I classify something that I think is neat, I hit the "Would you like to discuss this object" button, only to find 100 other people have already seen this object and classified it. Why am I doing this classification again? If 10 people have commented on an object, there must be 100 people like me who see that other people have commented and just lurk. Then there must be another 500 people who don't even bother to "discuss this object" .... what's going on?


  • Capella05 by Capella05 moderator in response to monk.e.boy's comment.

    Hi and welcome @monk.e.boy,

    We are certainly not trying to waste your time by getting you to classify images that have been commented on by other users - each image has to be classified by 'x' number of people before it is retired from the classification dataset. The surveys we classify change all the time, and sometimes it is necessary to revisit old surveys to supplement the data - so even though it may look like you have been given a really old image to classify - there is an important reason why 😃

    Thank-you so much for all your classifications and let me know if you have any other questions.


  • vrooje by vrooje admin, scientist


    @Capella05 has it exactly right. It's also really important for us to get multiple classifications of each galaxy because the overall agreement of the crowd tells us a lot about how certain we are of each classification (which is really powerful information) and because sometimes many people miss the little detail that's important for a discovery. The original Voorwerp discovered by Hanny was seen by multiple people who didn't think to ask about the little smudge below the galaxy -- so I'm really glad we didn't stop at the first classification.

    Also, you can comment here without having classified, so a really long discussion doesn't necessarily mean the object is overclassified. In general we ask for between 20 and 80 classifications per galaxy, depending on how difficult the classification is and how much information on detailed features is needed.

    Thank you so much for your efforts; they are really helpful for the science.