Important clues to the formation history of galaxies can be found in their morphologies. These data provide complimentary information to the star formation history, chemical composition and galactic dynamics as revealed by photometry and spectra. This Specialist Discussion will focus on recent results in extragalactic astronomy which have used morphological information on galaxies obtained from large survey data.
The sheer size of recent extragalactic surveys has made individual visual classification of galaxy morphologies impractical. The Galaxy Zoo project solved this problem by asking members of the public to help classify galaxies, and has been part of a reinvigoration of interest in the morphologies of galaxies and what they reveal about formation processes. For example, the morphological information collected by Galaxy Zoo has shown itself to be a powerful database for studying galaxy evolution, with now more than 30 peer-reviewed papers on a variety of topics including studies of local mergers, red spirals and blue ellipticals, tidal dwarf galaxies, dust lanes, the morphologies of AGN hosts, and the discovery of "green peas", "Voorwerpjes" and more.
This Specialist Discussion will bring together a variety of researchers working in the area of extragalactic astronomy, including members of the Galaxy Zoo team, to discuss recent results and preview forthcoming developments.