Author Topic: Tuesday, 11 February, 2014: Is This the Next Serendipitous Galaxy Zoo Discovery?  (Read 3724 times)

JeanTate

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2976
    • View Profile
(source)

Hanny's Voorwerp is arguably the most famous of the serendipitous Galaxy Zoo discoveries. While there have certainly been others, the pace of such discoveries has fallen off markedly. Yet we ordinary zooites have continued to post unusual objects, a handful of which were later shown - by professional astronomers - to be just as previously-unknown and scientifically interesting ... and for many of these we've asked, in effect, if anyone knew what they are (an example).

Starting with today's OOTD, I would like to introduce to readers of this column some of unusual objects ordinary zooites have asked about, here in the Galaxy Zoo forum or in Galaxy Zoo Talk. Many, likely nearly all, are well-understood by the small cadre of professional astronomers who study galaxies out to a redshift of ~0.4. But perhaps some are not. And if one of those astronomers, a zookeeper perhaps, on seeing one thinks "Hmm, there is indeed something strange about that ..." and upon digging a bit finds that it is indeed HV/GP/BMVC-like*, then maybe another ordinary zooite will be feted, and may become a co-author of a paper published in MNRAS.

The image which kicks off this OOTD was first posted, on June 28, 2011, by LynnSeguin, in the Newbies, Post your Interesting objects/queries here. (The Newbies Thread) (at least, I think she first posted it; an earlier posting anyone?); click the 'source' link next to it for the source.

Here is the object as imaged by DR8:



LynnSeguin gives its ID as "AHZ60005gr Reference: 8647474691427205226"; the very next post in that thread is a lengthy response by paulrogers. Among other things, he notes that this object - or part of it, or something - is identified as "Sy1 ()" in SIMBAD, but as "GALAXY STARBURST" by the automatic SDSS spectroscopic pipeline. While paulrogers certainly did some research into the nature of this unusual object, and turned up some unusual features, perhaps he didn't dig deep enough (as he himself said)? Even though this object is referenced in quite a few papers - mostly surveys of one kind or another - is there something quite remarkable that no one has so far spotted? Something that might make it as worthy of a paper as SDSS1133 was?

But do we need to wait for a zookeeper to stumble upon this thread, to have her interest piqued? If you, dear reader, think this is truly unusual, what research could you yourself do - and as paulrogers started to do - to show just how strange it is? What sorts of things do you think could be done, by us ordinary zooites, to research this further, even if you personally don't have the skills or access to tools to do that research?

My thanks to fellow OOTD author TonyWei for bringing this beautiful object to my attention.  :)

* Hanny's Voorwerp/Green Peas/Bruno's Mystery Violin Clef

JeanTate

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2976
    • View Profile
Starting with today's OOTD, I would like to introduce to readers of this column some of unusual objects ordinary zooites have asked about, here in the Galaxy Zoo forum or in Galaxy Zoo Talk. Many, likely nearly all, are well-understood by the small cadre of professional astronomers who study galaxies out to a redshift of ~0.4.

I didn't want to clutter the OP with this small, but important, clarification: galaxies are, of course, composed of stars, gas, dust, ... and many have active nuclei (AGNs). The unusual things which zooites discover, in the images served up in Galaxy Zoo - in all its iterations - Quench, RGZ, SW, StarDate (M83), the AP, etc (but not PH, P4, ...) could relate to any of these components. And at least one of the GZ serendipitous discoveries concerns a star in our own galaxy (Mitch's Mystery Star); astronomers who study white dwarf stars (for example) do not, as far as I know, read this column. So if a serendipitous GZ discovery concerns a kind of object which "the small cadre" do not study, we may have to dig a lot deeper on our own to show how unusual it is, before any professional astronomer will take notice*.

Also, GZ:Hubble, and until recently the current GZ, includes images of objects waaaay more distant than z ~0.4. "Unusual" for a great many of these objects is all but certain, as this is a very active field of research today. To get any serendipitous discoveries of these recognized, we may need to write a Letter.

* It should also be pointed out that professional astronomers are under no obligation whatsoever to reference this forum or GZ Talk. It is no breach of any professional etiquette for anyone to take the research we ordinary zooites post here, extend it a bit, write a paper based on it, and get it published in a peer-reviewed journal, all without mentioning Galaxy Zoo or any of us zooites. At least, as far as I know.

NGC3314

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1590
    • View Profile
[And at least one of the GZ serendipitous discoveries concerns a star in our own galaxy (Mitch's Mystery Star); astronomers who study white dwarf stars (for example) do not, as far as I know, read this column.

And three out of four who study white dwarfs have never seen a DZ spectrum, based on the number of emails sent before finding anyone who recognized it...



Quote
It is no breach of any professional etiquette for anyone to take the research we ordinary zooites post here, extend it a bit, write a paper based on it, and get it published in a peer-reviewed journal, all without mentioning Galaxy Zoo or any of us zooites. At least, as far as I know.

But it sure is sleazy, if that were the chain of events!

EigenState

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1334
    • View Profile
Greetings,

[And at least one of the GZ serendipitous discoveries concerns a star in our own galaxy (Mitch's Mystery Star); astronomers who study white dwarf stars (for example) do not, as far as I know, read this column.

And three out of four who study white dwarfs have never seen a DZ spectrum, based on the number of emails sent before finding anyone who recognized it...

And those that had seen one didn't have a clue.

Quote
It is no breach of any professional etiquette for anyone to take the research we ordinary zooites post here, extend it a bit, write a paper based on it, and get it published in a peer-reviewed journal, all without mentioning Galaxy Zoo or any of us zooites. At least, as far as I know.

But it sure is sleazy, if that were the chain of events!

It was, and it was.

Best regards,
ES

zutopian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2852
  • REOPEN this forum!!!
    • View Profile
Quote
The image which kicks off this OOTD was first posted, on June 28, 2011, by LynnSeguin, in the Newbies, Post your Interesting objects/queries here. (The Newbies Thread) (at least, I think she first posted it; an earlier posting anyone?);

SDSS DR7 image was posted before: e.g. in Oddballs as possible voorwerp:
http://www.galaxyzooforum.org/index.php?topic=1434.msg393043#msg393043

zutopian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2852
  • REOPEN this forum!!!
    • View Profile
Quote
Is This the Next Serendipitous Galaxy Zoo Discovery?

I guess, that it isn't, because the galaxy J025325.28-001356.6 is shown in following paper on page 10 in Fig.9.:

Lyman continuum leaking galaxies - Search strategies and local candidates
Nils Bergvall, Elisabet Leitet, Erik Zackrisson, Thomas Marquart
(Submitted on 7 Mar 2013)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.1576

PS: Is it another GZ discovery, that wasn't?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 07:34:53 am by zutopian »

Tony Wei

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1227
  • We believe justice forever!
    • View Profile
UKIRT image of 8647474691427205226
UKIRT Y
UKIRT J
UKIRT H
UKIRT K
Our greatest glory is not in never falling ,but in rising every time we fall.
——Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

JeanTate

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2976
    • View Profile
Thanks Tony.

Would you mind writing a few words about how you created that image? Also, what's the "plate scale" (i.e. how many arcsecs are there, per pixel*)?

* I know the image's pixel dimensions are 1082 x 612, but do not know how big it is, in terms of angle-on-the-sky.

JeanTate

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2976
    • View Profile
@zutopian: it's interesting what you turn up when you start to dig deeper, isn't it?  8)

It seems that no astronomer who hung out here back then (~2009-2011) noticed anything sufficiently unusual to warrant further investigation (quite unlike HV). Nor did any zooites - individually or in a group - think this might be a different class of object (unlike GPs). So the discoveries weren't followed up.

Bergvall+ 2013 discuss eight low-z SDSS objects, the image in the OP is of one of these. How many of the others were posted by zooites, here in this GZ forum, up to ~2012? And did anyone identify any as unusual (not just good eye candy)? as similar to any other (unusual) object?

I'd like to re-iterate the questions at the end of my OOTD: If ordinary-zooite-you think an object is truly unusual, what research could you yourself do to show just how strange it is? What sorts of things do you think could be done, by us ordinary zooites, to research this further, even if you personally don't have the skills or access to tools to do that research?

zutopian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2852
  • REOPEN this forum!!!
    • View Profile
@zutopian: it's interesting what you turn up when you start to dig deeper, isn't it?  8)

It seems that no astronomer who hung out here back then (~2009-2011) noticed anything sufficiently unusual to warrant further investigation (quite unlike HV). Nor did any zooites - individually or in a group - think this might be a different class of object (unlike GPs). So the discoveries weren't followed up.

Bergvall+ 2013 discuss eight low-z SDSS objects, the image in the OP is of one of these. How many of the others were posted by zooites, here in this GZ forum, up to ~2012? And did anyone identify any as unusual (not just good eye candy)? as similar to any other (unusual) object?

I'd like to re-iterate the questions at the end of my OOTD: If ordinary-zooite-you think an object is truly unusual, what research could you yourself do to show just how strange it is? What sorts of things do you think could be done, by us ordinary zooites, to research this further, even if you personally don't have the skills or access to tools to do that research?

Well, I just informed about a paper. :)
I would say, that your statement* about me actually applies to you.:
*it's interesting what you turn up when you start to dig deeper, isn't it?
I mean e.g. following case. : http://www.galaxyzooforum.org/index.php?topic=279513.15
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 07:12:37 am by zutopian »

Tony Wei

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1227
  • We believe justice forever!
    • View Profile
Thanks Tony.

Would you mind writing a few words about how you created that image? Also, what's the "plate scale" (i.e. how many arcsecs are there, per pixel*)?

* I know the image's pixel dimensions are 1082 x 612, but do not know how big it is, in terms of angle-on-the-sky.
It's from four UKIRT images(60 arcsecs×60 arcsecs/about .19g×.19g)(The image you see is processed,so the height isn't 'enough'):
Y                         J                             H                          K


You can also get images like this by visiting WFCAM.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 01:24:09 pm by Tony Wei »
Our greatest glory is not in never falling ,but in rising every time we fall.
——Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

JeanTate

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2976
    • View Profile
Bergvall+ 2013 discuss eight low-z SDSS objects, the image in the OP is of one of these. How many of the others were posted by zooites, here in this GZ forum, up to ~2012? And did anyone identify any as unusual (not just good eye candy)? as similar to any other (unusual) object?

The others are, from Bergvall+ 2013 Table 2, in order:

J010724.76 +133209.2, DR7 ObjId 587724197204787205:
elizabeth on December 09, 2010

J024352.54 -003708.4, DR7 ObjId 587731512078631006:
Spaceman Spiff on August 02, 20071

J075313.34 +123749.1, DR7 ObjId 587741489813520609:
(no one)

J080754.64 +141043.8, DR7 ObjId 587741532227895366:
(no one2)

J085642.06 +123158.3, DR7 ObjId 587745243621097602:
gz on August 19, 20071

J100712.21 +065735.6, DR7 ObjId 587732703399116865:
(no one3)

J101007.57 +033130.5, DR7 ObjId 587728879265841251:
(no one)

I checked only the DR7 ObjIds. Half (4/8) of these highly unusual galaxies were noted by zooites. Not surprisingly, none noted that any may be a 'Lyman continuum leaking galaxy'  ::) ... but Hanny did not note that the Voorwerp might be a 'quasar mirror' (to use Nielsen's term:P Nor did any zooite make a Collection which includes even two of these (Collections weren't invented then).

Question for all experienced zooites reading this post: how likely is it that you might have noted that at least two of these have something in common with the DR7 image of the one in the OP?


1 and more; the zooites' notes strongly suggest they thought it unusual
2 This surely has been posted before, perhaps under a different ID? Worth checking further, as it looks like a wonderful #overlap, if nothing else
3 the asteroid has been posted

JeanTate

  • OotD posters
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2976
    • View Profile
J080754.64 +141043.8, DR7 ObjId 587741532227895366:
(no one2)

2 This surely has been posted before, perhaps under a different ID? Worth checking further, as it looks like a wonderful #overlap, if nothing else

Here it is in DR8 (ObjId 1237667253452800073), and DR10 (no ObjIds):



In all three the yellow blob is 'STAR'; its DR7 (in cross-hairs below) and DR8 ObjIds are 587741532227895368, and 1237667253452800074, respectively.



Actually, those are (science) Primary only; in DR8 both galaxy and star each have one secondary ObjId, and in DR7 the galaxy has an additional primary and two secondaries:
  • DR7 galaxy primary: 587741532227895366 (with spectrum), 587741532227895367
  • DR7 galaxy secondary: 587741709934395575, 587741532227895367, 587741709934395578
  • DR7 star primary, secondary: 587741532227895368, 587741709934395577 (respectively)
  • DR8 galaxy primary: 1237667253452800073 (with spectrum)
  • DR8 galaxy secondary: 1237667431159300254
  • DR7 star primary, secondary: 1237667253452800074, 1237667431159300255 (respectively)
Rather to my surprise, none of these ObjIds has been posted before (other than in this thread), as far as this forum's Search tool can find.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 02:04:09 am by JeanTate »