Publications by Chris Lintott


Galaxy Zoo: morphological classifications for 120 000 galaxies in HST legacy imaging

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 464 (2016) 4176-4203

KW Willett, MA Galloway, SP Bamford, C Lintott, KL Masters, C Scarlata, BD Simmons, M Beck, CN Cardamone, E Cheung, EM Edmondson, LF Fortson, RL Griffith, B Haeussler, A Han, R Hart, T Melvin, M Parrish, K Schawinski, RJ Smethurst, AM Smith

We present the data release paper for the Galaxy Zoo: Hubble (GZH) project. This is the third phase in a large effort to measure reliable, detailed morphologies of galaxies by using crowdsourced visual classifications of colour composite images. Images in GZH were selected from various publicly-released Hubble Space Telescope Legacy programs conducted with the Advanced Camera for Surveys, with filters that probe the rest-frame optical emission from galaxies out to $z \sim 1$. The bulk of the sample is selected to have $m_{I814W} < 23.5$,but goes as faint as $m_{I814W} < 26.8$ for deep images combined over 5 epochs. The median redshift of the combined samples is $z = 0.9 \pm 0.6$, with a tail extending out to $z \sim 4$. The GZH morphological data include measurements of both bulge- and disk-dominated galaxies, details on spiral disk structure that relate to the Hubble type, bar identification, and numerous measurements of clump identification and geometry. This paper also describes a new method for calibrating morphologies for galaxies of different luminosities and at different redshifts by using artificially-redshifted galaxy images as a baseline. The GZH catalogue contains both raw and calibrated morphological vote fractions for 119,849 galaxies, providing the largest dataset to date suitable for large-scale studies of galaxy evolution out to $z \sim 1$.


Playing with science Exploring how game activity motivates users participation on an online citizen science platform

ASLIB JOURNAL OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT 68 (2016) 306-325

A Greenhill, K Holmes, J Woodcock, C Lintott, BD Simmons, G Graham, J Cox, EY Oh, K Masters


Science learning via participation in online citizen science

Journal of Science Communication Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati 15 (2016) A07-

K Holmes, K Masters, EY Oh, J Cox, B Simmons, C Lintott, G Graham, A Greenhill

We investigate the development of scientific content knowledge of volunteers participating in online citizen science projects in the Zooniverse (www.zooniverse.org). We use econometric methods to test how measures of project participation relate to success in a science quiz, controlling for factors known to correlate with scientific knowledge. Citizen scientists believe they are learning about both the content and processes of science through their participation. We don’t directly test the latter, but we find evidence to support the former - that more actively engaged participants perform better in a project-specific science knowledge quiz, even after controlling for their general science knowledge. We interpret this as evidence of learning of science content inspired by participation in online citizen science.


Extended X-ray emission in the IC 2497 - Hanny's Voorwerp system: energy injection in the gas around a fading AGN

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press (2016) stw230-stw230

LF Sartori, K Schawinski, M Koss, E Treister, WP Maksym, C Lintott, WC Keel, CM Urry, OI Wong

We present deep Chandra X-ray observations of the core of IC 2497, the galaxy associated with Hanny's Voorwerp and hosting a fading AGN. We find extended soft X-ray emission from hot gas around the low intrinsic luminosity (unobscured) AGN ($L_{\rm bol} \sim 10^{42}-10^{44}$ erg s$^{-1}$). The temperature structure in the hot gas suggests the presence of a bubble or cavity around the fading AGN ($\mbox{E$_{\rm bub}$} \sim 10^{54} - 10^{55}$ erg). A possible scenario is that this bubble is inflated by the fading AGN, which after changing accretion state is now in a kinetic mode. Other possibilities are that the bubble has been inflated by the past luminous quasar ($L_{\rm bol} \sim 10^{46}$ erg s$^{-1}$), or that the temperature gradient is an indication of a shock front from a superwind driven by the AGN. We discuss the possible scenarios and the implications for the AGN-host galaxy interaction, as well as an analogy between AGN and X-ray binaries lifecycles. We conclude that the AGN could inject mechanical energy into the host galaxy at the end of its lifecycle, and thus provide a source for mechanical feedback, in a similar way as observed for X-ray binaries.


Planet Hunters IX. KIC 8462852-where's the flux?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 457 (2016) 3988-4004

TS Boyajian, DM LaCourse, SA Rappaport, D Fabrycky, DA Fischer, D Gandolfi, GM Kennedy, H Korhonen, MC Liu, A Moor, K Olah, K Vida, MC Wyatt, WMJ Best, J Brewer, F Ciesla, B Csak, HJ Deeg, TJ Dupuy, G Handler, K Heng, SB Howell, ST Ishikawa, J Kovacs, T Kozakis, L Kriskovics, J Lehtinen, C Lintott, S Lynn, D Nespral, S Nikbakhsh, K Schawinski, JR Schmitt, AM Smith, G Szabo, R Szabo, J Viuho, J Wang, A Weiksnar, M Bosch, JL Connors, S Goodman, G Green, AJ Hoekstra, T Jebson, KJ Jek, MR Omohundro, HM Schwengeler, A Szewczyk


The AAS Journals Corridor for Instrumentation, Software, Laboratory Astrophysics, and Data

ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL 151 (2016) ARTN 21

ET Vishniac, C Lintott


Blue early type galaxies with the MeerKAT

Proceedings of Science (2016)

GIG Józsa, O Ivy Wong, T Mauch, K Schawinski, C Sengupta, K Masters, M Urry, C Lintott, B Simmons, S Kaviraj, P Kamphuis

© Copyright owned by the author(s). We discuss a potential MeerKAT campaign to shed more light into the nature of the optically identified Blue Early Type galaxies (BETGs), a subset of the so-called "green valley" population, quenching star formation on time scales of less than 0.25 Gyr and the likely progenitor population of post-starburst galaxies. Employing a WSRT pilot survey of four galaxies, we have shown that BETGs have radio properties that fit to a mechanical removal of star forming material, potentially by AGN activity, as in particular we found H I to be removed farther and farther from the centre of the galaxies with older and older age of the stellar population. We argue that MeerKAT is the optimal instrument to conduct a pointed survey of BETGs to become more conclusive about this specific transition state, which is so rare that it will not be detected at a high enough rate in planned sufficiently sensitive large-sky surveys, for which we expect a total detection number of the order of 12 objects.


The Moon Zoo citizen science project: Preliminary results for the Apollo 17 landing site

ICARUS 271 (2016) 30-48

R Bugiolacchi, S Bamford, P Tar, N Thacker, IA Crawford, KH Joy, PM Grindrod, C Lintott


A generalized approach for producing, quantifying, and validating citizen science data from wildlife images.

Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology Wiley 30 (2016) 520-531

A Swanson, C Lintott, M Kosmala, C Packer

Citizen science has the potential to expand the scope and scale of research in ecology and conservation, but many professional researchers remain skeptical of data produced by nonexperts. We devised an approach for producing accurate, reliable data from untrained, nonexpert volunteers. On the citizen science website www.snapshotserengeti.org, more than 28,000 volunteers classified 1.51 million images taken in a large-scale camera-trap survey in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Each image was circulated to, on average, 27 volunteers, and their classifications were aggregated using a simple plurality algorithm. We validated the aggregated answers against a data set of 3829 images verified by experts and calculated 3 certainty metrics-level of agreement among classifications (evenness), fraction of classifications supporting the aggregated answer (fraction support), and fraction of classifiers who reported "nothing here" for an image that was ultimately classified as containing an animal (fraction blank)-to measure confidence that an aggregated answer was correct. Overall, aggregated volunteer answers agreed with the expert-verified data on 98% of images, but accuracy differed by species commonness such that rare species had higher rates of false positives and false negatives. Easily calculated analysis of variance and post-hoc Tukey tests indicated that the certainty metrics were significant indicators of whether each image was correctly classified or classifiable. Thus, the certainty metrics can be used to identify images for expert review. Bootstrapping analyses further indicated that 90% of images were correctly classified with just 5 volunteers per image. Species classifications based on the plurality vote of multiple citizen scientists can provide a reliable foundation for large-scale monitoring of African wildlife.


Planet Hunters X: Searching for nearby neighbors of 75 planet and eclipsing binary candidates from the K2 Kepler extended mission

Astronomical Journal American Astronomical Society 151 (2016) Article 159-

JR Schmitt, A Tokovinin, J Wang, MH Kristiansen, DM LaCourse, DA Fischer, R Gagliano, HM Schwengeler, AJV Tan, MR Omohundro, A Venner, AR Schmitt, I Terentev, T Winarski, TL Jacobs, J Sejpka, KJ Jek, TS Boyajian, ST Ishikawa, JM Brewer, C Lintott, S Lynn, K Schawinski, A Weiksnar

We present high resolution observations of a sample of 75 K2 targets from Campaigns 1-3 using speckle interferometry on the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope and adaptive optics (AO) imaging at the Keck II telescope. The median SOAR $I$-band and Keck $K_s$-band detection limits at 1'' were $\Delta m_{I}=4.4$ mag and $\Delta m_{K_s}=6.1$ mag, respectively. This sample includes 37 stars likely to host planets, 32 targets likely to be EBs, and 6 other targets previously labeled as likely planetary false positives. We find nine likely physically bound companion stars within 3'' of three candidate transiting exoplanet host stars and six likely eclipsing binaries (EB). Six of the nine detected companions are new discoveries, one of them associated with a planet candidate (EPIC 206061524). Among the EB candidates, companions were only found near the shortest period ones ($P<3$ days), which is in line with previous results showing high multiplicity near short-period binary stars. This high resolution data, including both the detected companions and the limits on potential unseen companions, will be useful in future planet vetting and stellar multiplicity rate studies for planets and binaries.


Blue early type galaxies with the MeerKAT

Proceedings of Science Part F138095 (2016)

GIG Józsa, O Ivy Wong, T Mauch, K Schawinski, C Sengupta, K Masters, M Urry, C Lintott, B Simmons, S Kaviraj, P Kamphuis

© Copyright owned by the author(s). We discuss a potential MeerKAT campaign to shed more light into the nature of the optically identified Blue Early Type galaxies (BETGs), a subset of the so-called "green valley" population, quenching star formation on time scales of less than 0.25 Gyr and the likely progenitor population of post-starburst galaxies. Employing a WSRT pilot survey of four galaxies, we have shown that BETGs have radio properties that fit to a mechanical removal of star forming material, potentially by AGN activity, as in particular we found H I to be removed farther and farther from the centre of the galaxies with older and older age of the stellar population. We argue that MeerKAT is the optimal instrument to conduct a pointed survey of BETGs to become more conclusive about this specific transition state, which is so rare that it will not be detected at a high enough rate in planned sufficiently sensitive large-sky surveys, for which we expect a total detection number of the order of 12 objects.


Galaxy Zoo: Mergers - Dynamical models of interacting galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 459 (2016) 720-745

AJ Holincheck, JF Wallin, K Borne, L Fortson, C Lintott, AM Smith, S Bamford, WC Keel, M Parrish


Crowdsourcing the General Public for Large Scale Molecular Pathology Studies in Cancer.

EBioMedicine 2 (2015) 681-689

FJ Candido Dos Reis, S Lynn, HR Ali, D Eccles, A Hanby, E Provenzano, C Caldas, WJ Howat, L-A McDuffus, B Liu, F Daley, P Coulson, RJ Vyas, LM Harris, JM Owens, AFM Carton, JP McQuillan, AM Paterson, Z Hirji, SK Christie, AR Holmes, MK Schmidt, M Garcia-Closas, DF Easton, MK Bolla, Q Wang, J Benitez, RL Milne, A Mannermaa, F Couch, P Devilee, RAEM Tollenaar, C Seynaeve, A Cox, SS Cross, FM Blows, J Sanders, R de Groot, J Figueroa, M Sherman, M Hooning, H Brenner, B Holleczek, C Stegmaier, C Lintott, PDP Pharoah

BACKGROUND:Citizen science, scientific research conducted by non-specialists, has the potential to facilitate biomedical research using available large-scale data, however validating the results is challenging. The Cell Slider is a citizen science project that intends to share images from tumors with the general public, enabling them to score tumor markers independently through an internet-based interface. METHODS:From October 2012 to June 2014, 98,293 Citizen Scientists accessed the Cell Slider web page and scored 180,172 sub-images derived from images of 12,326 tissue microarray cores labeled for estrogen receptor (ER). We evaluated the accuracy of Citizen Scientist's ER classification, and the association between ER status and prognosis by comparing their test performance against trained pathologists. FINDINGS:The area under ROC curve was 0.95 (95% CI 0.94 to 0.96) for cancer cell identification and 0.97 (95% CI 0.96 to 0.97) for ER status. ER positive tumors scored by Citizen Scientists were associated with survival in a similar way to that scored by trained pathologists. Survival probability at 15 years were 0.78 (95% CI 0.76 to 0.80) for ER-positive and 0.72 (95% CI 0.68 to 0.77) for ER-negative tumors based on Citizen Scientists classification. Based on pathologist classification, survival probability was 0.79 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.81) for ER-positive and 0.71 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.74) for ER-negative tumors. The hazard ratio for death was 0.26 (95% CI 0.18 to 0.37) at diagnosis and became greater than one after 6.5 years of follow-up for ER scored by Citizen Scientists, and 0.24 (95% CI 0.18 to 0.33) at diagnosis increasing thereafter to one after 6.7 (95% CI 4.1 to 10.9) years of follow-up for ER scored by pathologists. INTERPRETATION:Crowdsourcing of the general public to classify cancer pathology data for research is viable, engages the public and provides accurate ER data. Crowdsourced classification of research data may offer a valid solution to problems of throughput requiring human input.


Radio Galaxy Zoo: host galaxies and radio morphologies derived from visual inspection

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 453 (2015) 2326-2340

K Schawinski, E Paget, R Simpson, HR Klöckner, S Bamford, T Burchell, KE Chow, L Fortson, G Cotter, I Heywood, S Kaviraj, ÁR López-Sánchez, K Borden, K Polsterer, L Whyte, JK Banfield, OI Wong, KW Willett, RP Norris, L Rudnick, SS Shabala, BD Simmons, C Snyder, A Garon, N Seymour

We present results from the first twelve months of operation of Radio Galaxy Zoo, which upon completion will enable visual inspection of over 170,000 radio sources to determine the host galaxy of the radio emission and the radio morphology. Radio Galaxy Zoo uses $1.4\,$GHz radio images from both the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty Centimeters (FIRST) and the Australia Telescope Large Area Survey (ATLAS) in combination with mid-infrared images at $3.4\,\mu$m from the {\it Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer} (WISE) and at $3.6\,\mu$m from the {\it Spitzer Space Telescope}. We present the early analysis of the WISE mid-infrared colours of the host galaxies. For images in which there is $>\,75\%$ consensus among the Radio Galaxy Zoo cross-identifications, the project participants are as effective as the science experts at identifying the host galaxies. The majority of the identified host galaxies reside in the mid-infrared colour space dominated by elliptical galaxies, quasi-stellar objects (QSOs), and luminous infrared radio galaxies (LIRGs). We also find a distinct population of Radio Galaxy Zoo host galaxies residing in a redder mid-infrared colour space consisting of star-forming galaxies and/or dust-enhanced non star-forming galaxies consistent with a scenario of merger-driven active galactic nuclei (AGN) formation. The completion of the full Radio Galaxy Zoo project will measure the relative populations of these hosts as a function of radio morphology and power while providing an avenue for the identification of rare and extreme radio structures. Currently, we are investigating candidates for radio galaxies with extreme morphologies, such as giant radio galaxies, late-type host galaxies with extended radio emission, and hybrid morphology radio sources.


The Red Radio Ring: a gravitationally lensed hyperluminous infrared radio galaxy at z=2.553 discovered through the citizen science project SPACE WARPS

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 452 (2015) 502-510

JE Geach, A More, A Verma, PJ Marshall, N Jackson, P-E Belles, R Beswick, E Baeten, M Chavez, C Cornen, BE Cox, T Erben, NJ Erickson, S Garrington, PA Harrison, K Harrington, DH Hughes, RJ Ivison, C Jordan, Y-T Lin, A Leauthaud, C Lintott, S Lynn, A Kapadia, J-P Kneib, C Macmillan, M Makler, G Miller, A Montana, R Mujica, T Muxlow, G Narayanan, DO Briain, T O'Brien, M Oguri, E Paget, M Parrish, P Ross, E Rozo, CE Rusu, ES Rykoff, D Sanchez-Argueeles, R Simpson, C Snyder, FP Schloerb, M Tecza, W-H Wang, L Van Waerbeke, J Wilcox, M Viero, GW Wilson, MS Yun, M Zeballos


Galaxy Zoo: evidence for diverse star formation histories through the green valley

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 450 (2015) 435-453

RJ Smethurst, CJ Lintott, BD Simmons, K Schawinski, PJ Marshall, S Bamford, L Fortson, S Kaviraj, KL Masters, T Melvin, RC Nichol, RA Skibba, KW Willett


PLANET HUNTERS. VI. AN INDEPENDENT CHARACTERIZATION OF KOI-351 AND SEVERAL LONG PERIOD PLANET CANDIDATES FROM THE KEPLER ARCHIVAL DATA (vol 148, 28, 2014)

ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL 150 (2015) ARTN 38

JR Schmitt, J Wang, DA Fischer, KJ Jek, JC Moriarty, TS Boyajian, ME Schwamb, C Lintott, S Lynn, AM Smith, M Parrish, K Schawinski, R Simpson, D LaCourse, MR Omohundro, T Winarski, SJ Goodman, T Jebson, HM Schwengeler, DA Paterson, J Sejpka, I Terentev, T Jacobs, N Alsaadi, RC Bailey, T Ginman, P Granado, KV Guttormsen, F Mallia, AL Papillon, F Rossi, M Socolovsky, L Stiak


PLANET HUNTERS. VIII. CHARACTERIZATION OF 41 LONG-PERIOD EXOPLANET CANDIDATES FROM KEPLER ARCHIVAL DATA

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 815 (2015) ARTN 127

J Wang, DA Fischer, T Barclay, A Picard, B Ma, BP Bowler, JR Schmitt, TS Boyajian, KJ Jek, D LaCourse, C Baranec, R Riddle, NM Law, C Lintott, K Schawinski, DJ Simister, B Gregoire, SP Babin, T Poile, TL Jacobs, T Jebson, MR Omohundro, HM Schwengeler, J Sejpka, IA Terentev, R Gagliano, J-P Paakkonen, HKO Berge, T Winarski, GR Green, AR Schmitt, MH Kristiansen, A Hoekstra


STELLAR POPULATIONS OF BARRED QUIESCENT GALAXIES

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 807 (2015) ARTN 36

E Cheung, C Conroy, E Athanassoula, EF Bell, A Bosma, CN Cardamone, SM Faber, DC Koo, C Lintott, KL Masters, T Melvin, B Simmons, KW Willett


Snapshot Serengeti, high-frequency annotated camera trap images of 40 mammalian species in an African savanna

Scientific Data Nature Publishing Group 2 (2015) 150026-

A Swanson, M Kosmala, A Smith, R Simpson, C Lintott, C Packer

Camera traps can be used to address large-scale questions in community ecology by providing systematic data on an array of wide-ranging species. We deployed 225 camera traps across 1,125 km(2) in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, to evaluate spatial and temporal inter-species dynamics. The cameras have operated continuously since 2010 and had accumulated 99,241 camera-trap days and produced 1.2 million sets of pictures by 2013. Members of the general public classified the images via the citizen-science website www.snapshotserengeti.org. Multiple users viewed each image and recorded the species, number of individuals, associated behaviours, and presence of young. Over 28,000 registered users contributed 10.8 million classifications. We applied a simple algorithm to aggregate these individual classifications into a final 'consensus' dataset, yielding a final classification for each image and a measure of agreement among individual answers. The consensus classifications and raw imagery provide an unparalleled opportunity to investigate multi-species dynamics in an intact ecosystem and a valuable resource for machine-learning and computer-vision research.

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