"GALAXY CRUISE" is a Citizen Astronomy project (citizen science project in astronomy) run by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). This project utilizes the data from a large-scale survey program using Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC), the world's best wide-field imaging camera mounted on the Subaru Telescope. We hope that, while exploring the Universe captured by the Subaru Telescope and classifying the shapes of interacting galaxies, the public and astronomers can come together to solve the mysteries of galaxies and generate new research results. 


Project Goals

The project goals are as follows:
1. to establish a citizen participation method for collecting data in the field of astronomy
2. to investigate the effects of galaxy interactions and mergers on the evolution of galaxies by collecting classification data for a wide variety of galaxies
3. to establish a new astronomy communication method through a two-way dialog between research institutes and citizens
4. to heighten awareness of astronomy among educators, non-profit organizations, and industry
5. to gain societal understanding and support for research activities using Subaru Telescope’s HSC
6. to give back to society through the internet distribution of research results
While there have been previous examples of Citizen Astronomy (citizen science) in which the public classifies images of galaxies, we expect that this project using higher quality HSC images will enable a detailed analysis that cannot be achieved with the data from other telescopes used by other Citizen Astronomy projects.

About Citizen Science


collaboration between you and an astronomer

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “citizen science” as “scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions.” Citizen science is now a popular activity, particularly in Europe and North America. It enables the general public to engage in scientific research by examining publicly available data through the internet. This collaboration benefits both the public and the scientists; the public can appreciate the wonders of astronomy by working with the latest large-scale data from NAOJ; scientists on the other hand can not only collect much more data with the help of the participants but can also disseminate their scientific research.

Be a Citizen Astronomer in your free time!
Anyone who has registered can participate from a home PC or on the go.
You can contribute to research as a Citizen Astronomer as easily as if playing a game.

A Word from the Captain

A galaxy is a huge collection of stars. Countless galaxies exist in the Universe. How galaxies formed and evolved over time is one of the great mysteries in astronomy. Galaxies are thought to have evolved through a series of interactions and mergers. However, the effects such processes have on the evolution are not yet fully understood. One of the big problems is that finding interacting galaxies through observations is difficult.
NAOJ's Subaru Telescope is conducting an observation project of unprecedented scale, allowing us to discover such interacting galaxies with much higher accuracy than ever before. Yet there is another problem. Since there are innumerable galaxies out there, it is difficult for professional astronomers alone to search the data.
This is where your help is desperately needed. We want you to identify the interacting galaxies in the world's highest quality data collected from these observations, and to help unlock the secrets of galaxy evolution. Would you like to join us and classify the various shapes of the countless galaxies to elucidate the 13.6 billion years of galaxy evolution?  GALAXY CRUISE will take you on a galactic journey. We are looking forward to your participation.

Captain of GALAXY CRUISE / Associate Professor at Subaru Telescope
Masayuki Tanaka


About the Observation Instrument

Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC), the world’s most powerful wide-field imaging camera, is mounted on NAOJ's Subaru Telescope constructed at the 4205-m summit of Maunakea in Hawai‘i. This is higher than Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest peak (3776 m). The Subaru Telescope has one of the world's largest monolithic mirrors with an aperture of 8.2 m.
超広視野主焦点カメラ Hyper Suprime-Cam

Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC), the world’s most powerful wide-field imaging camera, has 870 million pixels and can cover nine times the area of the full moon in each exposure. The HSC Subaru Strategic Program (HSC-SSP) stared in 2014. Astronomers plan to observe the sky with HSC for 300 nights over the course of the project. The image data used in GALAXY CRUISE were taken from these observations.


Crew & Collaborators

Captain (Science Supervisor)

Masayuki Tanaka

Engineer (Classification Website & hscMap Developer)

Michitaro Koike

Architect (Web Designer)

Junko Shibata


Pisit Nitiyanant(IAU OAO / NARIT)

Naomi Ishikawa

Movie Creators

Naotsugu Mikami

Concierges (Guides)

Seiichiro Naito

Hitoshi Yamaoka

Translators (Japanese-English)

Ryo Sato

Kumiko Usuda-Sato

English Editor

Ramsey Lundock

Steerer (Project Coordinator)

Kumiko Usuda-Sato


The training programs on this website were created with the help of “Miraikan Open Lab 2018.”
 National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)

It is time to embark on your galactic journey!