AI is Getting Better at Spotting Galaxies

Look at that galaxy, up there at the top of this page. Beyond its sparkling beauty, what do you see? It’s a spiral, for starters, and not an ellipse. Its arms spin out from the end of a straight bar, rather than curving into something smaller, and more circular, which is to say it’s a “barred spiral.”(The Milky Way is, too.) You can see supergiant stars, both blue and red, scattered throughout the arms, then dark lanes filled with interstellar dust, and a nice bulge there in the middle. Broken down into these basic shapes, this galaxy, called NGC 1300, makes for a pretty simple picture, one that your brain can easily recognize. If you looked at a few more galaxies, you would know immediately whether they were barred spirals…


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