Radio galaxy zoo EMU: towards a semantic radio galaxy morphology taxonomy

Micah Bowles, Hongming Tang, Eleni Vardoulaki, Emma L. Alexander, Yan Luo, Lawrence Rudnick, Mike Walmsley, Fiona Porter, Anna M.~M. Scaife, Inigo Val Slijepcevic, Elizabeth A.~K. Adams, Alexander Drabent, Thomas Dugdale, Gülay Gürkan, Andrew M. Hopkins, Eric F. Jimenez-Andrade, Denis A. Leahy, Ray P. Norris, Syed Faisal ur Rahman, Xichang OuyangGary Segal, Stanislav S. Shabala, O. Ivy Wong

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We present a novel natural language processing (NLP) approach to deriving plain English descriptors for science cases otherwise restricted by obfuscating technical terminology. We address the limitations of common radio galaxy morphology classifications by applying this approach. We experimentally derive a set of semantic tags for the Radio Galaxy Zoo EMU (Evolutionary Map of the Universe) project and the wider astronomical community. We collect 8486 plain English annotations of radio galaxy morphology, from which we derive a taxonomy of tags. The tags are plain English. The result is an extensible framework, which is more flexible, more easily communicated, and more sensitive to rare feature combinations, which are indescribable using the current framework of radio astronomy classifications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2584-2600
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2023


  • standards
  • methods: statistical
  • catalogues
  • galaxies: statistics
  • radio continuum: galaxies
  • Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
  • Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics


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