Well done Alice.
Just to add to what Karen said, the poll is intended to be fun rather than rigorous, but at the same time it does seem to track votes, and it doesn't count additional votes if someone keeps refreshing the poll and voting over and over.
We told people about this poll in many different ways, but always tried to give each image equal showing. For example, the Galaxy Zoo Facebook page featured each image once, with a link to the poll each time. If you happened to check the votes just after the Sombrero was the featured image that might explain why that galaxy collected a lot of votes just then. The others did too, just at different times!
This is a rather simple poll, so there is nothing to prevent multiple voting. It's just a bit of fun after all and I hope nobody is taking it too seriously. However just to reassure you oI checked this morning, and between 9am UK time and just now (12.25pm UK time) there were 2 votes for the Sombrero. That doesn't seem unusual to me.
Always remember the 1% rule - many fewer people comment on the internet than actually read content. So while most people who comment are in favour of the Voorwerp, that doesn't mean something suspicous is happening if the Sombrero is just popular with people who aren't commenting.
Thanks for you interest in this. Karen.
It's a bit strange that the number of votes for the Sombrero always rises with a lot in only a few minutes time. Looks like cheating.
I went for "the" Voorwerp. Chris's comment is spot on: it is iconic of what can be achieved in the era of large surveys (and citizen scientists!!) and so is exactly what GZ is all about. I agree with Jean that the overlaps catalogue is hugely important, but the NGC catalogue, and the Arp one and all the others pre-existed GZ. Hanny's contribution was both of an unrecognised type (whose significance we are only just beginning to understand), but also one which showed just what the amateur can contribute to Cosmology. It really is the GZ poster-child.
I went for "the" Voorwerp. Chris's comment is spot on: it is iconic of what can be achieved in the era of large surveys (and citizen scientists!!) and so is exactly what GZ is all about.
The voorwerp might be symbolic, but a lot of people are already familiar with it; the penguin looks awesome, but other than the gravitational interaction, there's nothing scientifically interesting about it. The Sombrero is common, and the barred spiral looks ordinary.
I chose the overlapping galaxy pair. It isn't already well known, and its transparency shows how empty galaxies really are - you can often see right through them. Many people don't realize that.
I've also gone for Hanny's Voorwerp. It's not the most striking image (my favourite is NGC 3314) but it says more about what galaxy Zoo can achieve. For me it exemplifies the wonderful way in which professional and amateur work together in Astronomy - and have done so for more than 50 years, going back beyond the time when I was in the Junior Astronomical Society and hero-worshipped Patrick Moore. (Incidentally, when I became a BBC film editor rather than the Astronomer I always wanted to be, I had the privilege of working with Patrick on a couple of Sky at Nights).
Arp 142 got my vote.
Why? because it is, to me, the most visually striking, and the least 'galaxy-like'.
Any of the first four would serve to symbolize the Galaxy Zoo and all it entails, so it came down to which would 'hook' more people, and in that regard Arp 142 is the best.
The one which, IMHO, best symbolizes zooites and their efforts is NGC 3314: the overlaps catalog is the result of direct, active involvement by thousands of zooites who all knew what they were searching for, and why. On top of that, one ordinary zooite was so intimately involved that he ended up as a co-author of the paper which was (eventually) published.
I would have normally have voted for the Sombrero galaxy, having first come across it in Hubble Atlas of Galaxies, an A3-sized catalogue, which I still have.
But then, I thought about what symbolizes Galaxy Zoo and it has to be - Hanny's Voorwerp, as to what can be found by the GZ volunteers - namely the discovery of a new species.