Astronomy at home
Now Reading
Astronomers want the public to help find star clusters in neighbouring galaxy

Earllier this month, astronomers at the University of Utah teamed up with Zooniverse to crowd source the exploration of the Andromeda galaxy, searching through the data to find new star clusters in our nearest neighbour.

Crowd sourcing is normally used when scientific researchers have a large amount of data to sort through but not enough time to do it. One of the limitations (even with modern technology) is that computers arent quite as good at pattern recognition as humans are – in these cases, the data is released so that the public can sort through the data instead of computers.

Astronomers at the University of Utah took this route when trying to identify star clusters in the Andromeda galaxy – the clusters themselves arent distinct enough from the rest of the galaxy for a computer to sort through it, so they set up a project at Andromeda Project  for the public to help.

Users will sort through hundreds of images from the Hubble telescope of the Andromeda galaxy (also known as M31)  collected as part of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury survey. Star clusters are important to understanding the history of Andromeda, as new star formation is found within them. Andromeda is also the closest galaxy comparable with our own, so by learning about Andromeda we will also learn something about the processes involved in our own Milky Way.

You can find the Andromeda Project at or you can find other crowdsourcing Astromony projects on Zoooniverse at .

Like this article? Share it with your friends!
What's your reaction?
Love it!
Could be better.
Hate it!
About The Author
My name's Chris Pounds. I started Astronomy Aggregator in 2012 as a hobby site for my interests in spaceflight and astronomy. I'm finishing up an MSc. in Aerospace Engineering. My undergraduate degree was in Mechanical Engineering with a final year dissertation focussed on performance characteristics of aerospike rocket nozzles.

Leave a Response