25 Jan Astronomy is all about observation. A lot of significant discoveries were made by “amateurs” who were dedicated to their passion of looking at the night sky. The advent of space-based and
Astronomy is all about observation. A lot of significant discoveries were made by “amateurs”
who were dedicated to their passion of looking at the night sky. The advent of space-based and
large automated telescopes has brought with it a constant stream of data – far too much for
professional astronomers to look at and catalog. But, computerized analysis may miss things
only a human observer would notice. And so, there is a renewed need for interested citizen
scientists who have time and a passion for discovery.
Zooniverse is a website that helps connect scientists with large sets of data to citizen scientists
who may be able to help them analyze it. Your assignment is to visit the website
(http://www.zooniverse.org/), join a project that interests you, and report back on your
experiences. There are several space oriented projects, but in order to maintain relevance to the
material we are covering in this class, please limit your choice to one of the following:
1. Galaxy Zoo: How do galaxies form?
2. Solar Jet Hunter
3. Dark Energy Explorers
4. Citizen ASAS SN
5. Zwicky Chemical Factory
6. Bursts from Space
7. Gravity Spy
8. Supernova Hunter
Keep a log of your work including information about the project you chose, a basic description of
the tasks you worked at, the hours you spent, and what you accomplished. Be sure to also
document your thoughts as you go along to assist you in writing your final report.
Your report should include the following sections:
1. Introduction: a description of the project you joined, including background on what is
being studied and why.
2. Methods: this should include information about the source of the data you worked with
and a description of the task(s) you performed to analyze it.
3. Results: a log of your work and description of what you accomplished.
4. Discussion: here you may critique the work and quality of the site.
The following are some questions to get you thinking:
● Did the site provide you with appropriate information to understand the
relevance of the work you did?
● Do you think the training provided was adequate?
● Did you feel motivated to continue once you got started?
● What did you learn through your participation in the project?
● Would you participate in another project like this?
● Did the project design ensure that the data acquired will be valid? How?
Of course, you may include any other relevant thoughts about your experience as a
Citizen Scientist in this section.
5. References: you will likely want to consult other sources besides the project website in
preparing your report. Be sure you list them.
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