About Visual AstronomyCustom Telescope ModsTips & TricksNewsObservationsRSS FeedContact

Monday, February 22, 2010

Citizen Science and You


Citizen science needs you! Yes that's right, you! You might ask, what the heck could I do for science? The answer of course, is plenty! Thanks to the internet, there are literally dozens of 'citizen science' projects out there right now.

Citizen science enables people like our readers, who have a natural curiosity about the physical world around them, to make real contributions to real scientific projects! The reality is that often science requires massive samples of data, and you can help gather this data. Read on below for more information on which projects you might want to join.

Citizen Sky

Citizen Sky is a project that aims to understand a mysterious star, epsilon Aurigae. Every 27.1 years, epsilon Aurigae dims significantly for about 600 days. This mysterious process is not well understood, and more data is needed to figure it out. You can help by joining Citizen Sky and making your own observations!

Galaxy Zoo

Galaxy Zoo is an attempt to categorize galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Of course, this is far too monumental of a task to undertake by one's self, because there are almost a quarter of a million galaxies on the list.

This is where Galaxy Zoo needs you. Once you register and sign in to their website, you can start classifying galaxies by their characteristics. It works almost like a game, where they show you a galaxy and you click several buttons answering questions about the galaxy's shape and properties.

Solar Stormwatch

Solar Stormwatch is a cool project where you look at some videos from NASA's STEREO solar observatory spacecraft, and classify solar storms in these videos. When you sign up, you do a quick training session. After this, you can watch some truly mesmerizing videos of solar storms, and use their intuitive web interface to classify these storms. I could do this for hours.

Distributed Computing

This one doesn't really require any work from you, but helps science immensely. To participate, you install a software on your computer, called BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing), which downloads work units from various projects for your computer to work on while you're not using it.

Some scientific projects, like SETI, create massive loads of data, which need analyzing. The trouble is, there isn't a computer in the world fast enough to handle all the data in a reasonable time. So instead of using one computer, BOINC splits up the work and gives it out to millions of computers, much like your own computer.

There are BOINC projects for just about any subject you could think about, from SETI, to searching for gravitational waves, to medical and mathematical research. Just make sure that you keep your computer clean and dust free, as BOINC can generate some serious heat while running.

CoCoRaHS and Skywarn

On a different note, CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow) is a project to log weather patterns all across the US. Using a qualified rain gauge, you simply report how much rain or snow you received to CoCoRaHS. This helps refine weather prediction and validate forecasts. They also have a hail pad project, which I find very interesting.

Along the same lines, you could also get Skywarn certified and keep an eye on local storm systems, reporting them to the National Weather Service. You could save lives with this one, and help validate forecasts. I personally am a Skywarn member for two regional NWS offices in Ohio.

GLOBE at Night

GLOBE at Night is an annual project to characterize light pollution. This year, GLOBE runs from March 3-16, 2010. Basically, you download a star chart of a constellation visible in your area, and compare it to various charts of levels of light pollution. You then submit these results to GLOBE. Data from GLOBE goes to understanding the extent of light pollution, and raising awareness on this issue.

So check out one (or more) of these citizen science projects and make a real contribution today (or tonight, whichever)!

Clear skies!

16 comments:

Flawedprefect said...

Excellent post. I've downloaded similar programs in the past (Seti@Home, for example) and I've loved how you can use downtime to just do a few things to help out. Galaxy Zoo is AWESOME. Thanks for making me aware of a few new ones! Now I can put down that bubble wrap, which was so addictive for those few seconds between tasks.

Sean Welton said...

SETI@Home is still available via the BOINC software ;)

Clear skies!

February 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Jonathan Brier said...

I am a huge citizen science and volunteer computing fan. I am working with the nonprofit GridRepublic over at http://www.gridrepublic.org to help move volunteer computing mainstream. I have raised the idea that we add citizen science applications to round out our mission.

GridRepublic is powered by BOINC and is working with them. We launched a Facebook application with sponsorship from Intel called Progress Thru Processors. http://www.facebook.com/progressthruprocessors

I like your site.

Jianbin Jianbin said...

jianbin1111
michael kors handbags clearance
true religion outlet,true religion jeans,true religion kids,true religion jeans sale,true religion jeans for men,true religion jacket,true religion sale
michael kors online outlet
louboutin uk
michael kors handbags wholesale
mlb jerseys wholesale
dallas cowboys
michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet online,michael kors,kors outlet,michael kors handbags,michael kors outlet online sale,michael kors handbags clearance,michael kors purses,michaelkors.com,michael kors bags,michael kors shoes,michaelkors,cheap michael kors
michael kors outlet
ugg boots on sale
barbour clothing
cheap uggs
new york knicks
replica handbags
nfl jerseys wholesale
nike free run uk
roshe run women
cheap nfl jerseys
san francisco 49ers
wedding dresses
los angeles clippers
air jordan shoes
pittsburgh steelers
uggs on sale
toms outlet
nike running shoes
chanel handbags
football shirts uk,soccer jerseys uk,cheap soccer jerseys uk
michael kors handbags,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet online,michael kors,kors outlet,michael kors outlet online sale,michael kors handbags clearance,michael kors purses,michaelkors.com,michael kors bags,michael kors shoes,michaelkors,cheap michael kors
michael kors outlet

Rudy Lay said...

Super website with a great sharing and amazing stories is ur web.. please keep doing what u do now.. thanks to you.
Agen Bandarq

Agen domino

Domino Online

agen Bandarq

Bandar domino99
agen domino online

Rudy Lay said...

She told me she just didn’t see herself as a leader and didn’t realize that other people at the school saw her as a leader as well
Togel Online Singapore

Togel Online Hongkong

Bandar Togel Singapore

Bandar Togel

Togel Online Terpercaya

Bandar Togel Online Terpercaya

Togel Online

Agen Togel Online Hanoi

Agen Togel Online

Togel Online Cambodia

Rudy Lay said...

Super website with a great sharing and amazing stories is ur web.. please keep doing what u do now.. thanks to you.
Togel Online Singapore
Togel Online Hongkong
Bandar Togel Singapore
Bandar Togel
Togel Online Terpercaya
Bandar Togel Online Terpercaya
Togel Online
Agen Togel Online Terpercaya
Agen Togel Online
agen togel
agen togel indonesia
togel sgp
daftar togel online
Togel Online terbesar
bandar Togel Online

Rudy Lay said...

Super website with a great sharing and amazing stories is ur web.. please keep doing what u do now.. thanks to you.
Agen Bandarq

Agen domino

Domino Online

agen Bandarq

Bandar domino99
agen domino online

Nguyen dung said...

This blog is so nice to me. I will continue to come here again and again. Visit my link as well. Good luck
temple run 2

Rudy Lay said...

Super website with a great sha and amazing stories is ur web.. please keep doing what u do now.. thanks to you.
Agen Bandarq
Agen Domino99
Domino Online
Agen Poker
Bandar Domino99

Rudy Lay said...

articel is very nice and Helpful kept was trying
Togel Online Singapore
Togel Online Hongkong
Bandar Togel Singapore
Bandar Togel
Togel Online Terpercaya
Bandar Togel Online Terpercaya
Togel Online
Agen Togel Online Terpercaya
Agen Togel Online
agen togel

Thu Lê said...

I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news. Thank you very much for such an interesting post. Keep working, great job! In my free time, I like play game: redball4games.com. What about you?

fransiska salim said...

bandar poker
poker facebook
agen poker
agen poker terpercaya
poker online
judi online
judi poker
bandar kiu
zodiak
zodiakdelima
delimapoker

Katrina Karin said...

thanks, your article its very nice, this blog is give me more insight..

judi poker
judi poker

Valencia Leerant said...

togel singapura

I VERY LIKE IT

Ngọc Mai Phạm said...

thank for posting
Sr. Cashman, le doy las gracias por esta información. Friv Games Gry Friv Gry Friv n todo momento puede Friv Juegos Friv Friv Games optar por compartir su información personal con terceros. Juegos Friv Juegos Friv Friv 5 Friv 2018 Gracias por compartir su pasión por el mejoramiento de las vidas de los niños en el Estado de Nueva York

Post a Comment