For an idea conceived over beers in an English pub, Galaxy Zoo has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its creators. In less than two weeks, citizen scientists went to the Galaxy Zoo website and registered more than a million galaxy classifications. As Yale University astronomer Kevin Schawinski describes in his November 2011 S&T cover story, these volunteers helped scientists discover new types of galaxies, and gain deeper insight into the important questions surrounding galaxy evolution.
Click here to listen to an 18-minute interview of Kevin discussing the origin of Galaxy Zoo, what he and his colleagues have learned from it, and where this type of citizen-science project will go in the future.
Click here to go to a page of links to other exciting web-enabled projects, where you can directly participate in scientific research and help contribute to human understanding of our universe.
Click here if you want to try your hand at classifying galaxies. Some are easy, some are hard, but all are beautiful and fun!