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One of the biggest problems facing scientists in many fields is that of data analysis. For them, this involves time-consuming, meticulous work of collecting, categorising, and analysing data obtained from observations, sensors, and any other source of data acquisition. As a result, these qualified professionals need to take time out of the more difficult things they have to do, slowing the progress of their projects.

This is where you and I come in. The majority of us are probably not qualified to assist in many scientific endeavours. However, with some basic instructions, we can assist with the flood of data scientists have to deal with. Zooniverse does just this. With many projects ranging from astronomy and physics, to biology and history, there are quite literally billions of images, recordings and observational data that need to be analysed.

While the data helps science, your results also help computers to learn how to do these tasks themselves. These projects differ greatly from Folding@Home and other distributed computing projects because computers either cannot make sense of the data, or are completely inefficient at achieving satisfactory results. This is where you and that brain come into play.

The human brain is capable of recognising complex patterns and understanding things that computers have a lot of trouble with. Performing complex calculations is what a computer excels at. Being able to identify if a galaxy is one type or another, reading barely legible handwriting from a war diary, identifying the terrain on Mars, and observing the behaviour of wildlife are all examples of what your brain can do better than a computer by orders of magnitude, and these are just some of the examples of what the projects are available on Zooniverse.

You can check out some of the projects at
I actually have been using the app on occasion.
We need to determine how to form a group!
For anyone who wants to help classify galaxies, there's an app available for Android users called Galaxy Zoo. Simple to use, and you can easily classify many galaxies per minute after a few tries and getting used to the simple interface. Settings allow you to download galaxy images in advance (up to 50), and restrict downloading to wifi only, so all the practical options are there for you.

Give it a whirl! I know what I'm going to be doing now on those layovers where I don't feel like leaving the hotel room!
My first 1000 classifications!

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In only three days, too!

EDIT: Aaaand another 250 done since posting this.

EDIT2: Also did 2000 sunspot comparisons on another Zooniverse project...