M33 Data Collection Complete!

It has only been two months since we first launched the Local Group Cluster Search, but I’m pleased to announce that we’ve completed our first galaxy target: the Triangulum galaxy, M33!  All 4,428 Hubble Space Telescope search images have been retired after each was classified by 60 people.  More than 1500 volunteers have pitched in on the effort — we can’t thank you enough for all your hard work!

Now the work of the science team begins as we work to analyze the image classifications and construct a cluster catalog.  That said, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the brand new data, and I created a preliminary cluster catalog to see what we’ve found.  The image at the top of this post shows the spatial distribution of more than 1300 star clusters!  Again, we still have work to do to confirm these identifications, but this is a beautiful population of clusters that will lead to a wide range of interesting science.  We are all super excited to get started!

And remember, the Local Group Cluster Search is just getting started.  With M33 complete, now we will move on to search images of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds obtained as part of the SMASH survey.  We will be back in a few weeks to start searching a new set of images, and we’ll keep you all updated on the results of M33 cluster catalog analysis as that work moves forward.

Have questions or comments on this post?  Join us in this Talk discussion: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/lcjohnso/local-group-cluster-search/talk/2153/905036