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Monday, July 13, 2009

Help Solve an Astronomical Mystery!


Have you ever wanted to make a contribution to real science? Well, now you can, with the Citizen Sky Project!

The Citizen Sky project is an attempt to solve a 175 year-old mystery. Every 27.1 years, the star Epsilon Aurigae undergoes an eclipse. Astronomers have been studying this star for over 175 years, yet still don't fully understand the nature of its eclipsing object. Citizen Sky has more information on Epsilon Aurigae here. The problem is that the star is so bright that it cannot be observed with most large professional telescopes. So, the task has been assigned to amateur astronomers everywhere to help with observation during Epsilon Aurigae's next eclipse in August 2009!

Joining Citizen Sky is open to anyone, regardless of your previous experience in astronomy. Heck, you don't even need a telescope to observe Epsilon Aurigae!! According to citizensky.org:

"Citizen Sky welcomes everyone to be a citizen scientist. We will guide you through the process of how to observe epsilon Aurigae, how to send us your observations, and then how to see your results, analyze them, and even publish them in a scientific journal!! No previous experience is required. We hope that this project will involve thousands of people all over the world in real, active scientific research."

-- citizensky.org


So join Citizen Sky and make a difference in astronomy! I've already joined, and will be making observations whenever possible!

Clear skies!

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