Invitation to participate in the alpha testing phase of Radio Galaxy Zoo – EMU ASKAP

Here’s a splendid opportunity for all the astronomy enthusiasts (students and citizen scientists) to volunteer with EMU-ASKAP (Evolutionary Map of the Universe-Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder) and help locate and classify radio galaxies.  The Radio Galaxy Zoo-EMU is one of the biggest citizen science projects run by EMU-AKSAP.

Below is the invitation by Dr. Eleni Vardoulaki (Coordinator for data-intensive radio astronomy , Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg TLS):

Invitation Email:

Radio Galaxy Zoo – EMU (RGZ-EMU) is a citizen science project utilizing the zooniverse.org platform. RGZ-EMU is in the alpha testing phase and requires the valuable help of volunteers to test the product and functionalities.

RGZ-EMU is a scientific based citizen science project which provides astronomical images to the general public and asks the volunteers to mark the location of galaxies and classify them based on their shapes. The science goal is to build databases of galaxies in order to study them and understand how galaxies grow and evolve in the universe.

We invite interested students to participate in the alpha testing phase of RGZ – EMU. The purpose of this phase is to evaluate the functionalities of the set-up workflows and provide valuable feedback. This feedback will be incorporated to complete the workflows and help us launch our citizen science project.

The RGZ-EMU managing team will provide the necessary credits to all volunteers. Please have a read below about instructions on how to join the project. For queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Alpha Test General Guidelines

Stage 1: Zooniverse Account Registration

  1. Interested students ideally would be asked to register a Zooniverse account
  2. Send account usernames and testers’ email addresses (could be done in batches) to hongmingt@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn
  3. Hongming shall add these testers’ accounts to the EMU Zoo project system. Testers will then receive notification

Stage 2: Test setup

General Info: the first round of alpha test would be implemented in a way similar to ‘Concierge Minimum Viable Product’ Experiment.

In principle, a project scientist should work with testers face to face (via a zoom online meeting) during the test.The project scientist should observe

  1. how testers explore the EMU Zoo project page
  2. play with workflows
  3. test useabilities of webpage functionalities
  4. whether testers make use of project support materials (i.e. Tutorial, Field Guide, About) or not
  5. if testers understand the project instructions/descriptions clearly.

According to our experience in previous experiments, each tester should be given at least 10 mins to explore freely. Project scientists may answer testers’ questions during the process, and write down their questions if the project scientist feels unconfident in giving an answer. At the end of the test, the project scientist may guide the testers to ‘About’ -> ‘FAQ’. There are 6 questions listed on the page, which we would appreciate if the tester is happy to answer them and send their answers to Hongming (Cc the project scientist who does the test together with the tester).

Note: If a project scientist is going to record the test experiment, he/she should not record the test process until both scientist and the tester agree on that. The recording can only be used to generate test feedback, which will later be used for polishing/improving EMU Zoo project designation/functionalities.

Stage 3: Feedback and Acknowledgement

EMU Zoo project scientists shall discuss the test results and testers’ feedback, improve/change project workflow/tutorial/field guide/etc, and write a summary of the alpha test. The summary shall be sent to all testers who attended the first round test. Credits to all volunteers might be given through email/separate webpage/ EMU Zoo social media channel in the future.

Dr. Eleni Vardoulaki
coordinator for data-intensive radio astronomy
Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg TLS 

External References:
Registration Link: Radio Galaxy Zoo-EMU