Put your brain to use: Galaxy Zoo

I caught this on Natures Nascent blog. Like re-CAPTCHA which I had blogged about before. This project uses the human brain to classify galaxies. You know the types , spiral , elliptical , merging etc etc.

The way it works is fun , you sign up, go through the tutorial , take the test ..If you get 8 out of 15 correct, you can start classifying galaxies. No worries, if you dont pass the test..you can just take it again , till you earn your stars .

Once you do , you can start classifying galaxies

A few things about the project capture my interest.

As as far as the codeitch, itch goes ..its amazing how much better the human brain is ,at recognizing patterns like the ones in the spiral galaxy above and telling it apart from an elliptical one. I know image processing algorithms are getting better and better as the days go ( I had my beginings in structural biology with 3d reconstruction of viruses from projection images and some single particle reconstruction)..but the human brain it seems still takes the prize…

The second amazing thing is , the galaxy zoo in just two days , classified a million images with community participation. And their servers are struggling to meet the load.
A big hurrah for public participation and open science indeed.

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Image link from the Sloan Digital survey 

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