SpaceWarps citizen science boosted by BBC Two program

The BBC Two Stargazing LIVE program has been urging its viewers to participate in the project SpaceWarps, which is one of several citizen science projects sponsored by the Zooniverse organization. In SpaceWarps participants examine celestial images in search of the very rare cases where the gravitational effects of a distant galaxy can magnify the image of an even more distant galaxy directly behind it. This lensing effect was predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

The big increase in the number of participants has been a boon to the project and several candidate gravitational lenses have been found: Stargazing Live: The Results Are In –  Zooniverse

BBC Stargazing Live 2014 has been asking people to visit the Zooniverse’s Space Warps site to identify gravitational lenses: extremely rare events caused by one galaxy passing in front of another (very distant) galaxy. Tens of thousands of you have taken part and classified more than 6.5 million images.

Your classifications have already led to the discovery of more than 50 potential gravitational lenses! Amongst them are several beautiful and interesting discoveries. You can see a few of our favourite candidates above. For Stargazing Live’s third and final show we have focussed on the spectacular red arc/ring shown below, it has been nicknamed 9io9 by the team right now, because of it’s Zooniverse ID. You can see more of what our volunteers are saying about it here on Talk.

Credit: Jim Geach / VICS82

Credit: Jim Geach / VICS82

More info on SpaceWarps can be found at: