Zooniverse: SpaceWarps

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Zooniverse: SpaceWarps

Postby geckzilla » Thu May 30, 2013 4:52 am

Help search for gravitational lenses.

Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Kavli IPMU: Discovery of Potential Gravitational Lenses

Postby bystander » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:00 pm

Discovery of Potential Gravitational Lenses by Citizen Scientists
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe | 2015 Sep 24

Around 37,000 citizen scientists combed through 430,000 images to help an international team of researchers to discover 29 new gravitational lens candidates through Space Warps, an online classification system which guides citizen scientists to become lens hunters.

Gravitational lens systems are massive galaxies that act like special lenses through their gravity, bending the light coming from a distant galaxy in the background and distorting its image. Dark matter around these massive galaxies also contributes to this lensing effect, and so studying these gravitational lenses gives scientists a way to study this exotic matter that emits no light.

Since gravitational lenses are rare, only about 500 of them have been discovered to date, and the universe is enormous, it made sense for researchers to call on an extra pair of eyes to help scour through the mountain of images taken from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS). Details of the discoveries will be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ...

Not only did this project give the public a chance to make scientific discoveries, it also gave them a chance to develop as researchers themselves. ...

The team will now move onto studying some of the interesting gravitational lens candidates by observing them with telescopes to uncover some of the mysteries related to dark matter. They are keen to work together with more volunteers in the near future as they are preparing new images from other ongoing imaging surveys to discover many more lenses.

Space Warps: I. Crowd-sourcing the Discovery of Gravitational Lenses - Philip J. Marshall et al
Space Warps II. New Gravitational Lens Candidates from the CFHTLS Discovered through Citizen Science - Anupreeta More et al
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