GALAXY ZOO – Astronomy in Education

Galaxy Zoo Supernovae - Header Image

Dear Supernova Hunters,

Thanks to your invaluable efforts, the Palomar Transient Factory has
been able to find supernovae with amazing efficiency. Building on your
success at finding real object in the residuals of subtracted images,
we are getting ready to launch a new Zoo called "IceHunters." We’re
asking you to be one of our early beta-testers of this brand new site.

To try out the site, go to:
User Name: GoGoNewHorizons
Password: Let’sFindIce (ssshhhhh… we’re trying to keep the site away
from the peering eyes of the press and the general public until we
launch late May / early June. This information is for your eyes only)

IceHunters uses data from ground-based images to look for Kuiper Belt
Objects, Variable Stars, and Asteroids. The ultimate goal is to find
the Kuiper Belt Object (or Objects) that the New Horizons spacecraft
will be redirected to after in flies past Pluto in 2015. The images
for this search are being taken right now at some of the most amazing
observatories around the world, including: CFHT, Subaru, and Magellan.
The first sets of subtracted images from these observing runs will be
produced in the last week of May or the first week of June (weather,
hard drive, and bandwidth willing).

While we wait for this space craft redirecting data to start to makes
it way into IceHunters, we have loaded in data from 2004 and 2005.
While any objects found in these images won’t be a candidate for
exploration by New Horizons, there’s still plenty to be discovered in
there. From unknown KBOs, to variable stars, to asteroids, you’ll see
all manner of objects that move and change in brightness as you click
through the images. With Ice Hunters, we ask you to mark the round and
streaked real objects in the subtracted residuals. These are KBOs or
Variable Stars and Asteroids, respectively.

As with Galaxy Zoo: Supernovae, your name will be attached with every
discovery. After this summer’s observing run, project scientists will
spend the fall and winter working to publish catalogues of all three
types of objects: catalogues that tie your name to your discoveries.
All minor bodies will be submitted to the Minor Planet Center, and all
variable stars will be reported to the American Association of
Variable Star Observers.

Will you help us test the site? Please be one of our premier
beta-testers today and login to

Pamela, the Zooniverse Team, and the New Horizons KBO Search Team


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