Sunday, May 12, 2013

Citizen Science: 'Space Warp' Galaxies Search

Date: 08 May 2013 Time: 07:00 AM ET

Citizen Scientists to Hunt for 'Space Warp' Galaxies
Online volunteers at will learn to spot the telltale signs of a space warp galaxy, which bends light around it like a lens.
CREDIT: Space Warps Collaboration

Astronomers are calling for volunteers to help them search for "space warps," rare and distant galaxies that bend light around them like enormous lenses.

Citizen scientists participating in the Space Warps project, which launched May 8, could help shed light on the mysterious dark matter pervading the universe and aid research into a number of other cosmic phenomena, organizers said.

"Not only do space warps act like lenses, magnifying the distant galaxies behind them, but we can also use the light they distort to weigh them, helping us to figure out how much dark matter they contain and how it’s distributed," Phil Marshall, a physicist at Oxford University in England and one of Space Warps' leaders, said in a statement.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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