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Galaxy Zoo: 3D – crowdsourced bar, spiral, and foreground star masks for MaNGA target galaxies

Masters, Karen L; Krawczyk, Coleman; Shamsi, Shoaib; Todd, Alexander; Finnegan, Daniel; Bershady, Matthew; Bundy, Kevin; Cherinka, Brian; Fraser-McKelvie, Amelia; Krishnarao, Dhanesh; Kruk, Sandor; Lane, Richard R; Law, David; Lintott, Chris; Merrifield, Michael; Simmons, Brooke; Weijmans, Anne-Marie; Yan, Renbin


Karen L Masters

Coleman Krawczyk

Shoaib Shamsi

Alexander Todd

Daniel Finnegan

Matthew Bershady

Kevin Bundy

Brian Cherinka

Amelia Fraser-McKelvie

Dhanesh Krishnarao

Sandor Kruk

Richard R Lane

David Law

Chris Lintott

Brooke Simmons

Anne-Marie Weijmans

Renbin Yan


The challenge of consistent identification of internal structure in galaxies – in particular disc galaxy components like spiral arms, bars, and bulges – has hindered our ability to study the physical impact of such structure across large samples. In this paper we present Galaxy Zoo: 3D (GZ:3D) a crowdsourcing project built on the Zooniverse platform that we used to create spatial pixel (spaxel) maps that identify galaxy centres, foreground stars, galactic bars, and spiral arms for 29 831 galaxies that were potential targets of the MaNGA survey (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory, part of the fourth phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys or SDSS-IV), including nearly all of the 10 010 galaxies ultimately observed. Our crowdsourced visual identification of asymmetric internal structures provides valuable insight on the evolutionary role of non-axisymmetric processes that is otherwise lost when MaNGA data cubes are azimuthally averaged. We present the publicly available GZ:3D catalogue alongside validation tests and example use cases. These data may in the future provide a useful training set for automated identification of spiral arm features. As an illustration, we use the spiral masks in a sample of 825 galaxies to measure the enhancement of star formation spatially linked to spiral arms, which we measure to be a factor of three over the background disc, and how this enhancement increases with radius.


Masters, K. L., Krawczyk, C., Shamsi, S., Todd, A., Finnegan, D., Bershady, M., …Yan, R. (2021). Galaxy Zoo: 3D – crowdsourced bar, spiral, and foreground star masks for MaNGA target galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 507(3), 3923-3935.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 3, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 10, 2021
Publication Date 2021-11
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2021
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 507
Issue 3
Pages 3923-3935
Keywords Space and Planetary Science; Astronomy and Astrophysics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2021 The Author(s),
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Galaxy Zoo: 3D – crowdsourced bar, spiral, and foreground star masks for MaNGA target galaxies (6.5 Mb)

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