Galaxy Zoo Starburst Talk

Beyond background information

  • meeka777 by meeka777

    Does anyone have any recommendations on introductory astronomy info that might be a useful general foundation? I really want to contribute to the analysis, but I'm terribly under-qualified to do much besides look at the data on a surface level. I've been reading through all of the links posted and have learned a lot, but most of the posts in the results section are beyond my knowledge. I have an astrophysics textbook I'm reading through, but I wanted to check and see if anyone recommends anything else to jump start a solid foundation.


  • jules by jules moderator

    I'm pretty much at the same level as you meeka777. I've played around with some colour plots but have reached a bit of an impasse. Every time I read up on a post in the data analysis thread someone posts something else I don't understand so I'm always several steps behind! What I had thought of doing is going through some of the literature again to try to firm up some questions which we need to answer with a view to finding some "basic" issues which still need addressing.

    One thing which might be useful is the comparison of QS and QC in ways which have not yet been covered. Now the data has been "cleaned" with our classifications added I might revisit some of my old plots. Have you tried some comparisons looking at say log mass, colour or size comparing subsets of QC and QS? Something unusual might just crop up.

    Other than that - I'm also open to suggestions! 😄


  • JeanTate by JeanTate in response to meeka777's comment.

    I thought your question was such a good one that I asked it, in a comment on the latest Galaxy Zoo blog post, Next GZ Hangout: 2nd of September, 3 pm GMT 😃

    I hope it gets answered. 😄


  • JeanTate by JeanTate in response to meeka777's comment.

    I've been pondering how best to answer your question, meeka777; I've decided to stop. 😮

    Instead of "best", I'll just give you some answers, and hope that at least one may be helpful to you. 😉

    Have you read Budgieye's Galaxy Zoo (GZ) forum Zooite Guide to SDSS Spectra? Her Colours of Galaxies in SDSS : Redshift chart? What about Bill Keel (NGC3314)'s Tutorial bits on galaxy spectra, also in the GZ forum? That forum also has a section (board) called Object of the Day; as almost all the threads there are about galaxies, and as many contain a fair bit of detail, ... The Galaxy Zoo blog contains posts written (mostly) by the astronomers active in that project; many of those posts contain background details - about specific galaxies, or galaxy types - which may be helpful to you too.

    Oh, and as you probably already discovered, the last Galaxy Zoo Hangout did not address your question ...


  • trouille by trouille scientist, moderator, admin

    I definitely understand and empathize with this request. Great resources Jean. Below are a few more.

    Also, we'll work on being more thoughtful about giving the fuller context in our posts here. Also, please please please don't hesitate to comment on a post that's unclear to you. Even a short -- could you explain more, would be really helpful.

    I had hoped the summaries of the science articles would be helpful, but from other posts, I get the sense that those are written at too high a level. Could someone confirm that for me here? Would anyone be interested in giving it a second try -- rewriting with a lot more introductory background information included?

    I'm a fan of, though I wish it were free. In the online astronomy course I teach, we use that. For the textbook, we choose 'The Essential Cosmic Perspective' by Bennett. Really well written, relatively concise, great resource. Again, wish that were free.

    Bill Keel (mentioned agove) has some really galaxy and galaxy evolution informational resources on his website.

    Good links to educational resources here:

    Could someone take a look and let us know if the following are useful resources, at the right level?

    Has anyone done an online astro course that they'd recommend. A quick search brought me these ( and I'd love to offer an adult intro to astro course through the Adler Planetarium. Would this be of interest?