Galaxy Zoo Project

by Samuel Rayas

Hi, my name is Sam and currently I’m a citizen scientist ambassador; furthermore I’m also going into my senior year at Nicholas Senn High School. To give a brief overview on what I’ve done so far can be explained as exploring the universe and stellar bodies and how they work. What I’ve just recently finished was my own (my teams) research question about the galaxies. How I came about asking this question was through getting the information from galaxy zoo. Galaxy zoo– for context– can be found in Zooniverse as one of their various projects. After looking at the data for a bit and seeing what we could do with it our group decided on what to explore.


Additionally, the question came to be “Does the color of a galaxy relate to the size of the galaxy?”. How we came about this question was by finding what was the most interesting aspect of the galaxy data. Vyreon and I specifically found both the size of the galaxy and the color of galaxy to be the most interesting thing to measure and explore. In the end we chose to combine the two finally construct our question. After the creation of our question we created our hypothesis which would be known as “Blue galaxies will be larger in size due to them containing blue stars which in turn are more luminous”. The blue galaxies would be larger in size than the red galaxies which contain red stars which are more dim. Our reasoning for this came from the HR Diagram since the blue galaxies turn out to be in the top left corner as they are more hot in temperature and brighter in luminosity.


Moving Forward, how we went about exploring this question was through separating the galaxies– both elliptical and spirals– into two color groups. After that we looked at the R90_Arcsec and found which galaxies fell under 10– which would be considered small galaxies– we also found the galaxies that went above 10– which would large– for both groups. In the end we found that the blue galaxies had a lot more smaller galaxies, while the red galaxies turned out to be larger in size. To reiterate, our hypothesis turned out to be wrong as the data proved the opposite; red galaxies were larger than blue galaxies. Lastly on this part our question was answered, there was a relationship between color and galaxy since blue galaxies tended to be small and red tended to be larger.


As a result, working in a group proved to be both challenging and as well interesting. My part in the beginning was to be more of a leader and also to communicate the groups interest into one. I think I did my part with making the data and also explaining what all the data meant to my peers. I think we went through a lot of trials, but I don’t believe anything is more satisfying than solving a challenging problem. Overall I think working in the team was a good experience since it was challenging, yet we pulled through with the project and it ended up really well. I think I wore my heart on my sleeve and so did my group so I don’t think there is nothing else to say; I appreciate their insight and criticism


Lastly, our group answered our question and even if we were disproven to be wrong I think it was worth it. I enjoyed the experience of learning with my teammates about the galaxies and what they entail. I liked the program overall and everything we did, but I won’t get sappy. I hope you got insight into my own scientific investigation and what our group did and a little about me.

Thanks for reading.


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