Unusual galaxy cluster discovered by Galaxy Zoo volunteers. Credit: Galaxy Zoo

Galaxy Zoo Team Discovers New Class of Galaxy Cluster

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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A new class of galaxy clusters has been identified by volunteers and astronomers of the Galaxy Zoo project, together with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. These clusters are rare, and have apparently gone unnoticed before, despite their unusual linear properties. Astronomers believe the identification of these types of clusters depend on the visual inspection of large numbers of galaxies, a feat which has only recently been made possible by the Galaxy Zoo project, and this may explain why they haven’t been discovered until now. “Space is, after all, really big,” said the Galaxy Zoo scientists, “and full of really surprising things.”

These clusters are unusually elongated, possess young and highly dynamic galaxy populations, and most unexpectedly, present neatly typeset, left-justified, messages written in the English language. One sample even includes punctuation similar to an exclamation mark. (See image below.)

SDSS colour composite image (vri) for another unusual galaxy cluster, at RA = ?2h61m12s, Dec = +124?17?72?? , identified by Galaxy Zoo participants.

SDSS colour composite image (vri) for another unusual galaxy cluster, at RA = ?2h61m12s, Dec = +124?17?72?? , identified by Galaxy Zoo participants.


The occurrence of these new galaxy phenomena could potentially lend support to some of the more exotic models for Dark Energy or modified gravity, which one of the Universe Today trolls may find extremely notable. More controversially, as most occurrences of English sentences are considered to be the work of intelligent beings, the existence of these messages might indicate intelligent life beyond our own.

Conversely, however, they could indicate that many phenomena usually attributed to intelligent life on Earth may actually occur spontaneously, without any thought necessarily being involved at all. While these new discoveries may have profound implications for cosmology, the most important thing to consider is the date of this publication, being April 1.

The Galaxy Zoo team stresses that, despite their implausible appearance, the galaxies comprising each individual character in the figures presented here are taken directly from the SDSS multicolour composite imaging. Note, however, that some degree of translation and rotation has been performed to the individual characters, for presentation purposes.


33 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    “The occurrence of these new galaxy phenomena could potentially lend support to some of the more exotic models for Dark Energy or modified gravity, which one of the Universe Today trolls may find extremely notable”

    Ahahaha, classic.

    ** Apologies for the inconvenience. ?

    Caution ! structure formation in progess ?

  2. lizzyshoe says:

    We apologize for the inconvenience!

    “These clusters are unusually elongated, possess young and highly dynamic galaxy populations, and most unexpectedly, present neatly typeset, left-justified, messages written in the English language. One sample even includes punctuation similar to an exclamation mark.”

    Hahaha! Very nice UT! Way to be the first of the prankers 🙂

  3. sapjes says:

    Haha very funny, I had to blink a couple of times to link the current date to this weird article 🙂

  4. Jim says:

    Good one!! Nice font!!

    But I still believe that Martin Gardner’s counter-example to the 4 colour theorem (Scientific American, some years ago) is the best.

  5. Salacious B. Crumb says:

    What? No EU!

  6. Feenixx says:

    It’s configurations like this SETI might want to look for.
    Messages carried via EM wave modulation are for the birds

    😉

  7. jay says:

    wow, I actually fell for it at first! I was seriously thinking this over until I scrolled down to the comments section! Good one! 😀

  8. HeadAroundU says:

    Get rid of comet 2012 and scientology!!!

    No shame whatsoever???

    How could you sell science to scientology???

    Goshdamn money hungry universe (of) today.

  9. my congratulations to nancy for finding this and to my absolute heroes at “galaxy zoo”!

    there is nothing more wonderful than beginning one’s day with a genuine smile…

    😀

  10. Firebird says:

    Great article 🙂

    On a related note:
    Remember Towel Day (May 25):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towel_Day

  11. Ayti says:

    April fools!

  12. Jon Hanford says:

    Now we know what that Conficker worm was up to! Thanks to Nancy and the Galaxy Zoo team for this treat.

  13. Motor Daddy says:

    Awesome! 😉

  14. huygens says:

    Wake me when this silliness is over.

  15. Scooter says:

    Very unprofessional, let’s try to keep the site a little more professional.

  16. Taunide says:

    Yeah, scooter and huygens are right.. science is and has to be serious… Look at those Intelligent Design People, THEY know how to be dead serious..

    Well, actually I think one of the best things to find in our universe is a tongue in a cheek….

  17. Jorge says:

    LOL!

    Nice one, Nancy.

    A note to those who want to be always dead serious: the keyword there is DEAD. You need a sparkle of life, kids.

  18. Dankwa says:

    For the 1st time I didn’t fall for any April fool prank, only to fall to Universe Today! Damn you, UT!

    🙂

  19. Sci-Fi Si says:

    Wow! The Aliens have moved from crop circles to sign writing with galaxies, that’s a lot of effort to go to for a prank.

    Nice one Nancy
    🙂

  20. Arik Rice says:

    Hey, what do you think the odds are that there are some galaxies lined up like this somewhere?

  21. Matt S. says:

    “Hey, what do you think the odds are that there are some galaxies lined up like this somewhere?”

    Astronomically high…. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  22. Gabriel says:

    A fake image in my opinion.This is too big of a coincidence to be true.

  23. Yael Dragwyla says:

    April Fool!

  24. Danny says:

    The second-last sentence kind of gives it away

  25. anu says:

    April fools day surprise?

  26. Miguel V. says:

    I was fooled by that paper until I saw the coordinates of the objects! Then I looked the calendar 😀

  27. anzenbrainard says:

    As wee all know, theses are part of an april fools joke, (but i was still so excited when i read this until i took a look at a calendar)

    anyway, has anyone noticed that they have some message in them?

    Like the second picture says:
    “Caution! ????????? formation in progress?

  28. geokstr says:

    It was immediately evident this was a joke, just from the first picture. Note that the same galaxy appears twice, the circular one with the dot in it at right, about in the middle of the image. It would have been more difficult to spot if the hoaxters had not put them right on top of each other.

    🙂

    Given the political bent of this site, I’m very surprised the “message” didn’t say:

    “CAUTION EARTHLINGS! KEANU WAS RIGHT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE”

  29. Chuck Lam says:

    Someone has waaaay too much time on their hands.

  30. strider says:

    we apologise for
    the inconvenience

  31. B00mstra says:

    Caution! Structure formation in progress

  32. Erik says:

    There are many repeated galaxies in the image.
    First I thought that this is news about special galaxy forms until I noticed the message 😀
    This was very good 🙂

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