I introduced you to the Galaxy Zoo a few weeks ago. You know, the online site where you use your powerful human brain to help catalog galaxies for science. As I predicted in my article, the response was overwhelming.
According to a recent press release from the Galaxy Zoo project:
“The response has been breathtaking,” said Alex Szalay from Johns Hopkins University, a member of the Galaxy Zoo team. “The traffic was 20 times higher than what we hoped for. This shows the public is really interested in science if they feel they can contribute in a meaningful way.”
The public wants to make a meaningful contribution to science. I could have told them that.
Anyway, right after launch, their website was buried by visitors. In fact, the demand was so great that they blew a circuit breaker in their computer room. The team has been catching up quickly. They’ve upgraded their computer hardware, just to keep ahead of demand, and they’re already hard at work analyzing the fountains of data generated.
Here’s the funny part. At its peak, humans were classifying more than 60,000 galaxies an hour. Since their stated goal is 1 million galaxies, that should have taken them the better part of a single day to wrap up the project.
I hope someone else out there appreciates the power and enthusiasm of the public to perform this kind of service. The gap between professional and amateur is closing, and the contributions made by the public can be nothing short of awe-inspiring.
People love to help out.
Original Source:Sloan Digital Sky Survey