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Astronomy & Space

GLOBE: El Nino

Join professional and community scientists in collecting and sharing important data and learn more about your local environment in the process. There are two ways to participate: 1) sign up and contribute as an individual; 2) join as a host-site ambassador to facilitate participation through your community-based organization.

Four Protocols to Collect Data for the El Nino campaign.

To support GLOBE in this long-term campaign, we are recruiting, training, and equipping participants for four separate but related protocols representing a range of commitments from a light touch to an in-depth experience ,based on the needs and interests of you and your community.

The four protocols range from atmosphere to pedosphere observations; from very simple to more complex:

The cloud protocol: a quick assessment of the type and density of cloud cover as viewed from the collection site.
The surface temperature protocol: uses a simple tool to capture 9 measurements that are averaged to submit a reading to GLOBE.
The precipitation protocol: documents rainfall from day to day or more frequently on a rainy day to provide data about rainfall volumes and rates
The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) protocol: provides data about soil moisture temperature that can be used to ground truth a NASA satellite that is in orbit.
All of these protocols help us to understand how climate change affects the global water cycle. Changes in the water cycle, such as increased periods of drought and increases in rain or snowfall, significantly impact people’s lives, biodiversity, food production and more. Some regions will see the impact of climate change long before others, but all of us will be affected by changing water patterns in our lifetime. The more granular data we have from citizen scientists, the more we can understand the changes and how to mitigate them.

Mission: Starlight (UV protection)

Your mission is to protect astronauts from the effects of harmful UV light. Experiment with different materials to discover which blocks UV light the best. Tell us about your results to receive a mission completion certificates and to unlock a secret video featuring British astronaut Tim Peake.
This global experiment will remain open so you can take part anytime.

GRB cosmology project

The project aims to provide a complete catalog of all the information of the jet opening angles for Gamma Ray Bursts computed or inferred in literature so far.
Gamma Ray Bursts are the most explosive phenomenon in the Universe and they are among the farthest objects ever observed.
Thus, being so luminous can be seen at very large distances. The main goal of the project would be to use them as standard candles, objects whose luminosity is known or can be derived through already known relations.
The problem is that GRBs are far from being standard candles, since their luminosity span in a very wide range and the modern challenge is to understand if they can be used as standard candles the same way the supernovae Ia has been used. GRB correlations can be used in order to achieve this goal. However, the large scatter in correlations have prevented from obtaining yet standard candles. Great efforts have been made recently with the discovery of a 3D correlation http://arxiv.org/abs/1604.06840.
The question is whether the jet opening angle can be a key relevant parameter in obtaining tighter correlations. The jet angles in order to be measured need to be observed in several wavelengths at the same time. This is a problematic task, thus the need of a collection of a complete catalog can be of great use for the GRB community. Observations suggest significant variation in the jet angle from between 2 and 20 degrees, but studies have been carried out that states that low luminous GRBs have opening angles wider than 31 degrees, thus a careful search in literature is needed in order to distinguish between possible different categories of GRBs.
The use of these angles will be a reference for new statistical analysis, they can implemented for adding additional parameters in GRB correlations and to better understand theoretical modelling of Gamma Ray Bursts.
The project aim is to publish this catalog in a peer review journal together with the statistical analysis associated. Students interested in embarking this project for their bachelor or master thesis or PhD students are very welcome to take part to the all science project and contribute to write also the paper.

Journey North

Journey North invites you to join in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Share your local observations with people across North America. Track the coming of spring through the migrations of monarch butterflies, robins and hummingbirds, the budding of plants, changing day length and other natural events. Predict when plants will emerge and bloom with Journey North Tulip Test Gardens. Track changes in day length to find ten Mystery Classes hidden around the globe. Explore weekly news updates, migration maps, photos, video clips, live cams, lessons, and other resources. Journey North exemplifies best-practice instruction and is one of the nation's premiere citizen science projects.

Independent Generation of Research

IGoR facilitates scientific research by amateur scientists and science enthusiasts. Anyone (not just professional scientists) can propose their own research questions on the IGoR site. Then, other interested people can share ideas, skills, or time to address the question. In addition, a growing number of professional scientists have agreed to help answer users' questions about the users' research projects.

Some people may have science questions that they cannot answer on their own. Other people may have technical skills (e.g. electronics or microscopy, gardening or photography, and many others) that would be useful for addressing those questions. Still others may have the scientific training to design a sound study.

By working together and pooling skills and ideas, people of any experience level could carry out original, independent research. For example, do you want to decipher what scallops see with their bright-blue eyes? Do you wonder how mushrooms take shape? Or are you curious about how the plants in your garden behave? What do you want to discover?

Smithsonian Transcription Center

The Smithsonian Transcription Center engages the public in making our priceless collections more accessible. We work hand-in-hand with Digital Volunteers to transcribe historic documents and collection records to facilitate research and excite learning in audiences everywhere. Participants have the chance to transcribe a diverse array of collection materials drawn from Smithsonian holdings in science, history, art, and culture.

Asteroid Mappers

Help NASA identify craters and other terrain on the asteroid Vesta

Mars Mappers

Help NASA identify craters and other terrain on Mars

Mercury Mappers

Help NASA identify craters on Mercury


PANOPTES (Panoptic Astronomical Networked Observatories for a Public Transiting Exoplanets Survey) is a citizen science project which aims to build low cost, robotic telescopes which can be used to detect transiting exoplanets.

Due to the simplicity and low cost (an individual PANOPTES unit is targeted to cost about $5000 USD), a PANOPTES "unit" can be reproduced quickly and easily by students or amateur scientists. In this way, many units can be deployed at many different sites to provide continuous and redundant sky coverage. PANOPTES is designed from the ground up to be a citizen science project which will involve the public in all aspects of the science, from data acquisition to data reduction.

The philosophy behind the PANOPTES hardware and software design is to use as many commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts as possible as these are generally inexpensive and easily acquired. In addition, the PANOPTES design is kept as simple as possible as this makes the build process easier and means that the final product is more reliable.

With PANOPTES, you too can help discover exoplanets! Join us!

Citizen CATE Experiment

The Citizen CATE Experiment will use a fleet of telescopes to observe the total solar eclipse of 21 Aug 2017. As the shadow of the moon travels across the continental USA, citizen astronomers from more than 60 sites will take images of the brightness of the inner solar corona. While the totality phase of the eclipse will last only 2 minutes at each site, the combined Citizen CATE Experiment data set will reveal for the first time how this part of the solar atmosphere changes during 90 minutes. New scientific results about the dynamics of the magnetic fields and plasmas in this part of the solar corona will be derived from the data, and the image sequence will provide a beautiful perspective of the solar eclipse as never seen before.


Einstein@Home uses your computer's idle time to search for weak astrophysical signals from spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars) using data from the LIGO gravitational-wave detectors, the Arecibo and Parkes radio telescopes, and the Fermi gamma-ray satellite.

Einstein@Home is a World Year of Physics 2005 and an International Year of Astronomy 2009 project supported by the American Physical Society (APS) and by a number of international organizations.

Einstein@Home volunteers have already discovered more than 70 new neutron stars, and we hope to find many more in the future.

Our long-term goal is to make the first direct detections of gravitational-wave emission from spinning neutron stars. Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916, which have been directly detected in September 2015. This observations opened up a new window on the universe, and ushered in a new era in astronomy.

Counter Culture Labs

Come help us build a new community lab for the East Bay, focused on DIY biology and citizen science. A place to explore, learn, work on fun projects, tinker with biology and other sciences. Open to biotech professionals, scientists, and citizen scientists of all stripes. Be part of our community of creative thinkers, hackers and mad scientists!


Experiment is a crowdfunding platform for scientific research. We want to allow anyone with a credit card to be a modern day patron of science.

Play to Cure: Genes in Space

Help researchers cure cancer.

The problem:

We know that faults in our genes can lead to cancer cells forming. This can be linked to the amount of genes in our cells - sometimes we have more and sometimes we have less.

It can take years for scientists to analyze all of their genetic data, but with thousands of citizen scientists playing Genes in Space, the process is greatly accelerated.

How it works:

First, you plot a galactic route. In the context of the game, you're choosing your flight path, but these “space coordinates” are actually a visualization of DNA data, and you're showing our scientists where the genetic variations are which may lead to cancer.

Then you collect Element Alpha, a mist like substance that can be traded for ship upgrades. It actually represents the same DNA data that has just been mapped – which means our scientists have two perspectives on the same sample, from one player.

And we’ve added an asteroid field. This makes the gameplay more engaging and challenging. You need to dodge or shoot a multitude of asteroids to complete a stage.

Each data sample is analyzed multiple times for accuracy. Don’t worry about making mistakes - the more people who use Genes in Space, the more accurate the results will be and the faster data can be translated into new ways to beat cancer.

Dark Skies ISS

Right now there are around 1.800.000 images at the Johnson Space Center database (The Gateway of the Astronauts). Around 1.200.000 images were taken aboard the ISS (date 20/02/2014). However the number of the classified images is much smaller and there is no archive of georeferenced images. There is a project to classify the day time images (Image detective). But, the techniques that are used in this project are not useful for the classification of night time images. The reason is that the patterns on Earth are not the same during the day and night. This is why another technique is needed to classify these night time images.

Our main objective is to study the light pollution that came from the cities. We want to stop the waste of energy and the destruction of the mighty ecosystem.

Your collaboration it is really important because algorithms cannot distinguis between stars, cities, and other objects (i.e. moon). Thus, we need your help to assess the light pollution in our world!

Planet Mappers: Mercury Edition

Map the surface of Mercury by marking and measuring craters and linear surface features in images from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.

By mapping craters across the planet, we can start to piece together the global crater population and figure out what these new images are showing us about the solar system’s inner-most planet.

Asteroid Mappers: Vesta Edition

Help us map the surface of asteroid Vesta using images from NASA' Dawn spacecraft. Measure the sizes and positions of craters and other surface features.

Why do we care about craters? Craters can tell us a lot about what’s happening on a planetary surface. One of the main uses of craters is to tell ages. The age of Vesta’s surface is really important to know, because it was probably one of the very first objects to fully form in the solar system.

The Winnower

The Winnower is a scholarly publishing platform that provides traditional scholarly publishing tools (DOI, typesetting, archival, and Altmetrics) to traditional and non-traditional media including blogposts, reddit AMAs, class essays, grants, theses, reviews, responses to RFIs, lay summaries, journal clubs, citizen science projects and other new media so that it counts for the scholarly record and the scholar’s career. We’ve been live for ~2 years and have 1220+ publications from universities and individuals around the world.

Disk Detective

NASA astrophysicists need your help finding new planetary systems. At Disk Detective, you'll view 10-second videos of images from NASA telescopes and help us decide if they might be stars with dusty disks where planets form and dwell. The best candidates you find get followed-up with other telescopes so we can learn more about how planets are born.

American Meteor Society - Meteor observing

Join the American Meteor Society community and contribute valuable and precise data relating to meteor shower and fireball observations. The AMS App allows witnesses of fireball meteors to log details about their observation using the mobile device. Sensors in the phone provide an accurate means to record the location of the observation as well as the azimuth and elevation values for the start and end points of the meteor. Using this data the AMS can accurately triangulate fireball meteors and plot their orbits to determine their celestial origins. The APP also provides a means to log observations from meteor showers. Simply start your observing session and then each time you see a meteor point to that place in the sky and swipe your finger on the screen in the direction the meteor traveled. Observation data is uploaded to the AMS website, available under your profile there and shared with the scientific community. The AMS App also provides a useful meteor shower calendar with star charts and moon conditions for all major and minor showers throughout the year.

OSF SciNet

Problem: Scientific citations are frequently constrained by terms-of-use or within proprietary systems making it difficult to see connections in the literature.

Solution: OSF SciNet uses the open source Citelet extension to crowdsource a free, open, and comprehensive metadata dataset of scientific citations and corresponding references to unlock the citation network.

Impact: The dataset generated through this project will make it easier to see the connections in the scientific literature and to promote open science.


Aurorasaurus is the first citizen science project that aggregates relatively rare sightings of the Northern and Southern Lights in order to improve real-time tracking and understanding of the beautiful phenomenon. The Aurorasaurus project allows the public to enter their observations of aurora through their website, as well as on a mobile application platform, in order to better characterize their frequency, location, and rare visual characteristics. We also collect related tweets, map them, and ask users to help verify these as real-time sightings. During periods of high aurora activity, Aurorasaurus sees a significant uptick in public reporting of the phenomenon, allowing the project to ground truth the data being collected by other instruments, and alert registered users in real-time. Informal educational resources are offered as well.

Dark Sky Meter

The Dark Sky Meter (available for iPhones) allows citizen scientists to contribute to a global map of nighttime light pollution.
Light pollution is a growing problem in urban environments, but now you can help scientists better understand its effects on the environment. The map is also a great help for (amateur) astronomers looking for dark skies.
By utilizing the camera built in to your iPhone, the Dark Sky Meter actually measures ‘skyglow’ and updates the data in real time.

The app also charts weather conditions and cloud cover so you can take readings at optimal times. The app is as easy to use as taking a picture, and is a fun way to learn about your night sky.

The Results are live and visible for everyone on a global light pollution map generated by the app users. Visit darkskymeter.com to see the map. Since this project has no funding or grants the app costs $1 to cover the hosting costs (which is a steal compared to commercially available light pollution meters).

Loss of the Night

How many stars can you see where you live? The Loss of the Night App challenges citizen scientists to identify as many stars as they can in order to measure light pollution. The app is fun and easy to use, and helps users learn constellations as they contribute to tracking of how skyglow is changing over time.

Stargazing is a great activity for young scientists, but this ancient pastime has become increasingly difficult in growing urban areas. Help us understand light pollution, and learn about your own night sky!

You don't need to leave the city to take part. In fact, the app is designed specifically for use in very light polluted areas.

The more stars you observe, and the more often you run the app, the more precise the data for your location will become. As the seasons change so do the stars in the sky, and since there aren't that many very bright stars it is extremely helpful if urban users do measurements in each season.

A day after you have done an observation, you can examine your data at http://www.myskyatnight.com

Detailed instructions for Android: http://lossofthenight.blogspot.de/2014/11/a-step-by-step-guide-to-using-loss-of.html

Detailed instructions for iPhone: http://lossofthenight.blogspot.de/2014/11/a-step-by-step-guide-for-using-loss-of.html

The NOVA Sun Lab

Despite its apparently steady glow, the Sun is a churning mass of superhot plasma that regularly produces powerful flares and storms that can knock out power and communication systems here on Earth. In this lab, watch NOVA videos to explore what makes the Sun so volatile and get access to the same NASA data, images, and tools that scientists use to predict solar storms—so that you can predict them for yourself.

Astro Drone

The Astro Drone game is part of a scientific crowdsourcing project. People who possess a Parrot AR drone can play the game, in which they are challenged to perform different space missions in an augmented reality. Contribute to future space exploration by playing the free Astro Drone game!

The app is more than a game. Players can choose to contribute to a scientific crowdsourcing experiment that aims to improve autonomous capabilities of space probes, such as landing, obstacle avoidance, and docking. The app processes the images made by the AR drone's camera, extracting abstract mathematical image features. These features can neither be interpreted by humans, nor can the original image be reconstructed. However, the features can be used by robots to learn how to navigate in their environment. Players can join the experiment by going to the high score table. If they agree, the feature data is sent over the Internet.

The latest release contains two levels. In the first players learn to dock as well as possible to the International Space Station. In the second level players enact the Rosetta mission from ESA, by avoiding space debris and releasing the Philae lander onto a comet's surface. New levels will be added incrementally with new releases.

Astro Drone is a project performed by the Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency.

Planet Four

Planet Four is a citizen science project in which volunteers help planetary scientists identify and measure features on the surface of Mars.

Scientists need your help to find and mark ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ on the Martian surface, features that indicate wind direction and speed. By tracking these features, you can help planetary scientists better understand Mars’ climate.

All of the images you'll see depict the southern polar region, a little known area of Mars. The majority of these images have never been seen by humans until now.

This is your chance to explore the surface of Mars like never before!

NASA Wavelength

NASA Wavelength is your pathway into a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels - from elementary to college, formal and informal. The resources are developed through funding of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), have undergone a peer-review process to ensure accurate content, and are aligned to AAAS benchmarks. NASA Wavelength allows users to find quality resources, as well as to share these discoveries with others through social media, email, and atom feeds.


ISeeChange is a socially networked weather Almanac for communities to collectively journal their climate experiences -- their observations, feelings, questions, and decisions --- against near-real time climate information.

This groundbreaking environmental reporting project combines citizen science, participatory public media, and cutting-edge satellite monitoring of environmental conditions.

Incubated in 2012 by producer Julia Kumari Drapkin at Colorado public station KVNF Mountain Grown Community Radio via AIR’s Localore project, iSeeChange is poised to expand in 2015. The team will work with media and scientific partners across the country to help audiences document environmental shifts in their backyards and connect to the bigger-picture climate changes transforming all of our lives and livelihoods.


ZooTeach is a website where teachers and educators can share high quality lesson plans and resources that complement the Zooniverse citizen science projects. Citizen science offers a unique opportunity for any person, of any age, of any background to get involved and make a contribution to cutting edge science. Here at Zooniverse headquarters we believe that getting students involved in citizen science offers educators a free, easily accesible and inspiring opportunity to bring real science into the classroom.


SatCam lets you capture observations of sky and ground conditions with a smart phone app at the same time that an Earth observation satellite is overhead.

When you capture a SatCam observation and submit it to our server, it helps us to check the quality of the cloud products that we create from the satellite data. In return, we send you the satellite image that was captured at your location, anywhere in the world! SatCam supports the Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP satellites.

SatCam was developed at the Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison .

NASA JPL's Infographics

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) needs you to take complex scientific data and images and turn them into informative graphics to convey a simple and easy to understand messages! The JPL’s newest venture is called JPL Infographics, and they need your help to create and post your very own creations of scientific graphic art.

All of the resources are at your fingertips, including high-resolution images, 3-D models, fact sheets, and loads of other data build your very own Infographics. You can browse the numerous of other user creations to get inspired and then upload your creation online!

This is a really fun and challenging project and your work will be used to educate and inform others on the goings on of cutting-edge space exploration. So fire of both sides of your brain and create some educational space art!

Citizens in Space

Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy, plans to fly citizen-science experiments on fully reusable suborbital spacecraft that are now being developed by US companies.

Citizens in Space has acquired an initial contract for 10 flights with XCOR Aerospace, the Mojave, California-based company that is developing the Lynx spacecraft. It expects to acquire additional flights from XCOR and other companies in the future.

Citizens in Space is currently training three astronaut candidates to fly as operators. It will select and train seven additional astronaut candidates over the next 12 to 24 months. Citizens in Space is also inviting citizen scientists to build 100 experiments to fly on those flights, which are expected to begin in late 2013 or early 2014.

In addition to the general call for experiments, Citizens in Space will offer a cash prize for certain experiments deemed to be of special importance.

Target Asteroids!

Target Asteroids! is a citizen science project which engages amateur astronomers in observations of potential asteroid spacecraft targets. The purpose is to collect data (e.g., astrometry and photometry) on asteroid targets to better characterize them as well as engage amateurs in the mission and encourage interest in STEM education and careers. OSIRIS-REx team members work with amateur astronomy groups to provide guidance, monitoring and collection of data.

WorldWide Telescope Ambassadors

Do you have an Astronomy Story to tell? Create interactive, narrated tours about your favorite astronomical objects in WorldWide Telescope, and share them with the world.

Planet Hunters

Planet Hunters is a project from Zooniverse where citizen scientists help astronomers identify new planets.

Through data taken from the Kepler Spacecraft, citizens are helping scientists identify stars with possible planets in the Cygnus constellation. The Spacecraft takes brightness data every thirty minutes from over 150,000 stars so there is a lot to look at.

When planets pass in front of stars, the brightness of that star dips, which shows up on the light curves taken from Kepler. These patterns are not always easily recognized by computer algorithms, and in many cases, the human brain is actually more capable of identifying brightness dips.

Be a Martian

Help scientist improve maps of Mars and participate in other research tasks to help NASA manage the large amount of data from the Red Planet.

Users create Martian profiles and become "citizens" of the planet. In the map room, citizens can then earn Martian credits by helping place satellite photos on Mars’s surface, counting craters, and even helping the rovers Spirit and Opportunity by tagging photos with descriptions.

The highly interactive website is rich in content and contains other informational videos and mapping applications for citizens to tour Mars and get to know every nook and cranny of its rocky surface.

Become a Martian, explore Mars, have fun!

Moon Mappers

Help NASA identify craters on the Moon

Solar Storm Watch

You don’t have to be a science expert to be a brilliant solar stormwatcher. Help scientists spot explosions on the Sun and track them across space to Earth. Your work will give astronauts an early warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way. And you could make a new scientific discovery.

Explore interactive diagrams to learn out about the Sun and the spacecraft monitoring it. The STEREO spacecraft is scientists’ latest mission to study the Sun and space weather – not clouds and rain, but how solar storms change conditions in space and on Earth.

Solar Stormwatch isn't just about classifying data. You can talk to other members on our forum, sign up for our space weather forecast from Twitter, and learn about the latest discoveries on our blog. You can also see how solar storms affect Earth at our Flickr group Aurora chasers, featuring beautiful photos of aurora.

if you’d like to know more about what you’re looking at, then explore our beautiful and interactive zoomable diagrams to find out about the Sun and the STEREO spacecraft monitoring it. And check out our scientists’ profiles too.

Milky Way Project

The Milky Way Project aims to sort and measure our galaxy. We're asking you to help us find and draw bubbles in beautiful infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Understanding the cold, dusty material that we see in these images, helps scientists to learn how stars form and how our galaxy changes and evolves with time.

New Horizons Icehunters

The goal of this project is to discover Kuiper Belt Objects with just the right orbit and just the right characteristics to make them eligible for a visit from the New Horizons mission. At this time, the space probe has enough fuel in reserve to allow up to two different objects to be visited.

This is where you come in. To find these icy KBO targets we need your help poring over thousands of ground based images, taken specially for this purpose using giant telescopes. Hiding within these images are undiscovered slow-moving Kuiper Belt Objects, asteroids zipping through the foreground, and millions of background stars.


Constellation is a platform for different aerospace related projects that need intensive computational power. The platform supports the efforts of participating projects by providing Distributed Computation capability using BOINC (Berkeley Open Interface for Network Computing).

Constellation will send work-units of attached projects to volunteering, idle PCs where the units are processed. The combined power of all volunteering users will help to solve important scientific tasks in fields from astronomy to aerospace-engineering beginning from student up to university projects. The bottom line is to benefit from the generosity of the volunteers and to benefit from the accumulation of different projects, like sharing programming knowledge in distributed computing and influencing the others' simulation by its own solutions.

The platform is an open space for anyone, who is an air and space enthusiast and wants to donate idle computing time or even skill for a sub-project on platform. Applications for sub-project are welcome!

The Sungrazer Project

SOHO is the most successful comet discoverer in history, having found over one thousand eight-hundred comets in over thirteen years of operation! What's even more impressive is that the majority of these comets have been found by amateur astronomers and enthusiasts from all over the world, scouring the images for a likely comet candidate from the comfort of their own home.

Absolutely anyone can join this project -- all you need is an internet connection and plenty of free time!


Play your part and help discover our Universe!
Have a computer? Want to help astronomers make awesome discoveries and understand our Universe? Then theSkyNet needs you!
Your computer is bored. It has spare computing power nearly all the time that could be used to do something cool. So why not let it?
By connecting 100s and 1000s of computers together through the Internet, it's possible to simulate a single machine capable of doing some pretty amazing stuff. That's what theSkyNet is all about - using your spare computing power to process radio astronomy data.

Science Hack Day

Science Hack Day is a 48-hour-all-night event that brings together designers, developers, scientists and other geeks in the same physical space for a brief but intense period of collaboration, hacking, and building 'cool stuff'. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results. Some Hack Days have a specific focus. There have already been very successful Music Hack Days and Government Hack Days. It's time for a Hack Day focused on science!

Project Calliope

Project Calliope is an upcoming orbiting satellite that will convert Earth's ionosphere to music for people to share. Calliope lets people get a sense of how active space is. Calliope will measure the ionosphere for its 12-week life and transmit that data as sonified MIDI data (akin to sheet music) so anyone with a ham radio or web connection can listen to it-- or remix it into their own music compositions. It is planned to launch into orbit in late 2011.

NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest

This annual contest, co-sponsored by NASA Ames and the National Space Society, is for 6-12th graders (11-18 years old) from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to six, and large teams of seven or more (often whole classrooms with teacher leadership) may enter their design for and description of a human colony in outer space.

Submissions must relate to orbital settlements; they may not be on a planet or moon. Settlements must be permanent, relatively self-sufficient homes, not temporary work camps. Designs, original research, essays, stories, models, artwork or any other orbital space settlement
related materials may be submitted.

Grades 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12 are judged separately, except for the grand prize. The single highest scoring team or individual attending will receive the NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award for $3,000.

Submissions must be received by March 15.


SETI, or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is a scientific effort seeking to determine if there is intelligent life outside Earth. SETI researchers use many methods. One popular method, radio SETI, listens for artificial radio signals coming from other stars. SETI@home is a radio SETI project that lets anyone with a computer and an Internet connection participate.

Radio telescope signals consist primarily of noise (from celestial sources and the receiver's electronics) and man-made signals such as TV stations, radar, and satellites. Modern radio SETI projects analyze the data digitally. More computing power enables searches to cover greater frequency ranges with more sensitivity. Radio SETI, therefore, has an insatiable appetite for computing power.

Previous radio SETI projects have used special-purpose supercomputers, located at the telescope, to do the bulk of the data analysis. In 1995, David Gedye proposed doing radio SETI using a virtual supercomputer composed of large numbers of Internet-connected computers, and he organized the SETI@home project to explore this idea. SETI@home was originally launched in May 1999.

The SETI@home project hopes to convince you to allow us to borrow your computer when you aren't using it and to help us "…search out new life and new civilizations." We'll do this with a screen saver that can go get a chunk of data from us over the internet, analyze that data, and then report the results back to us. When you need your computer back, our screen saver instantly gets out of the way and only continues it's analysis when you are finished with your work.

Global Telescope Network

Using small telescopes around the world, Global Telescope Network members observe and analyze astronomical objects related to the NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST), Swift, and XMM-Newton missions.

These missions are designed to study astronomical objects through their emission of x-rays and gamma rays. But much can be learned by combining observations over a broad range in the electromagnetic spectrum. So, the Global Telescope Network has been assembled to make observations in the optical range to complement the observations by space-borne observatories.

Members can participate in a number of activities, including gamma-ray burst photometry analysis, surveillance data analysis, and galaxy monitoring, and by donating telescope time. The Global Telescope Network in turn provides involvement for students, teachers, and amateur astronomers in cutting-edge astronomical research. It also offers mentoring in research practices, telescope use, data analysis, and educational resources.

Moon Zoo

Moon Zoo invites you to help astronomers count and analyze craters and boulders on the surface of the moon. You will examine images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which show the lunar surface in remarkable detail, including features as small as about one and a half feet across.

One aim of Moon Zoo is to provide detailed crater counts for as much as the Moon's surface as possible. The number of craters on a particular piece of the surface tells us how old it is.

Craters can tell us more than just the history of the lunar surface, though. In particular, you're asked to look for craters with boulders around the rim. Boulders are a sign that the impact was powerful enough that it excavated rock from beneath the regolith (the lunar 'soil') and so by keeping an eye out for these we can begin to map the depth of the regolith across the surface of the Moon.

Of course, in exploring the lunar surface who knows what else you might find. We very much hope that Moon Zoo will lead to the discovery of many unusual features.

Interactive NASA Space Physics Ionosphere Radio Experiments (INSPIRE)

INSPIRE volunteers use build-it-yourself kits to measure and record very low frequency radio emissions. These include naturally occurring "sferics" (short for "atmospherics") often generated by lightning and known as "tweeks," "whistlers," and "chorus" as well as man-made emissions.

There is a great deal of scientific curiosity about the nature and generation mechanisms of natural very low frequency radio emissions and how they interact with the Earth's ionosphere and magnetic fields. INSPIRE is taking an active role in furthering the investigation of very low frequency emissions by involving citizen volunteers in its research.

INSPIRE represents a rare opportunity to work with real NASA space scientists on real scientific problems.


Join us in the search for interstellar dust! On January 15, 2006, the Stardust spacecraft's sample return capsule parachuted gently onto the Utah desert. Nestled within the capsule were precious particles collected during Stardust's dramatic encounter with comet Wild 2 in January of 2004; and something else, even rarer and no less precious: tiny particles of interstellar dust that originated in distant stars, light-years away. They are the first such pristine particles ever collected in space, and scientists are eagerly waiting for their chance to "get their hands" on them.

Before they can be studied, though, these tiny interstellar grains will have to be found. This will not be easy. Unlike the thousand of particles of varying sizes collected from the comet, scientists estimate that Stardust collected only around 45 interstellar dust particles. They are tiny - only about a micron (a millionth of a meter) in size! These miniscule particles are embedded in an aerogel collector 1,000 square centimeters in size. To make things worse, the collector plates are interspersed with flaws, cracks, and an uneven surface. All this makes the interstellar dust particles extremely difficult to locate.

This is where you come in!

By asking for help from talented volunteers like you from all over the world, we can do this project in months instead of years. Of course, we can't invite hundreds of people to our lab to do this search-we only have two microscopes! To find the elusive particles , therefore, we are using an automated scanning microscope to automatically collect images of the entire Stardust interstellar collector at the Curatorial Facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston. We call these stacks of images focus movies. All in all there will be nearly a million such focus movies. These are available to Stardust@home users like you around the world. You can then view them with the aid of a special Virtual Microscope (VM) that works in your web browser.

Together, you and thousands of other Stardust@home participants will find the first pristine interstellar dust particles ever brought to Earth!

In recognition of the critical importance of the Stardust@home volunteers, the discoverer of an interstellar dust particle will appear as a co-author on any scientific paper by the Stardust@home team announcing the discovery of the particle. The discoverer will also have the privilege of naming the particle!

Globe at Night

Six out of 10 people in the US have never seen our Milky Way Galaxy arch across their night sky from where they live. And the problem of light pollution is quickly getting worse. Within a couple of generations in the U.S., only the national parks will have dark enough skies to see the Milky Way.

Too much outdoor lighting not only affects being able to see the stars, but also wastes energy and money, about 2 to 10 billion dollars a year. And it has been shown to cause sleep disorders in people and to disrupt the habits of animals like newly hatched sea turtles that try to find their way back into the ocean but are disoriented by streetlights.

Light pollution may be a global problem, but the solutions are local. To help people “see the light”, an international star-hunting program for students, teachers, and the general public was created called GLOBE at Night. GLOBE at Night is now in its 6th year and is hosted by the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

For 2016 we are collecting your observations during all 12 months of the year! See the dates below and plan to get involved.

January 1-10
February 1-10
March 1-10

March 30- April 8
April 29- May 8
May 29-June 7

June 27-July 6
July 28-August 6
August 25-Sept 2

October 21-31
November 20-30
December 20-30

Through this program, children and adults are encouraged to reconnect with the night sky and learn about light pollution and in doing so, become citizen scientists inspired to protect this natural resource. Teachers like the GLOBE at Night program, because it lends itself to cross-curricular learning: astronomy, geography, history, literature, and writing. The possibilities are great.

NASA Top Stars

Are you interested in bringing Hubble Space Telescope data into your classroom? Then check out NASA Top Stars!

U.S. formal (K-12 and college) and informal educators were invited to submit their best examples of using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope for science, technology, engineering or mathematics education. Those selected as Top Stars received national recognition and awards. Winning entries are published online for other educators to use to inspire their students.

The deadline to enter was Feb. 28, 2010. While the contest has ended, the Top Stars website provides access to a showcase of Top Stars winners and other resources for the classroom.

Top Stars is an IGES initiative, through funding from NASA, and in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute.


The Geoscientists-in-the-Parks Program hires geoscience and other natural resource science students and recent graduates for 3 months to one year to conduct scientific research, inventorying and monitoring, and education and outreach projects in national parks. This important work helps the National Park Service better understand and manage its natural resources and communicate science to park visitors.

Participants may assist with research, synthesis of scientific literature, geologic mapping, geographic information system analysis, site evaluations, resource inventorying and monitoring, impact mitigation, curation of natural resources, developing brochures and media presentations, and educating park staff and park visitors.

Individuals selected for the program have a unique opportunity to contribute to a variety of important natural resource science projects. Parks benefit from a participant’s knowledge and skills in geological or other natural resource sciences, while each participant gains valuable experience by working with the National Park Service. Each participant receives a weekly stipend, housing or a housing allowance, and a small travel allowance. Participants with all levels of experience are encouraged to apply.

The National Science Digital Library

The National Science Digital Library encourages citizens to help enlarge and strengthen their library of high quality resources and tools that support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Developers of content in these subject areas, National Science Foundation grantees, educators and learners, and all other members of the community are welcome to recommend digital resources for the library. These resources include activities, lesson plans, Web sites, simulations, or any materials that help educators meet the demands of an increasingly complex technology-based world.

As a national network of learning environments, resources, and partnerships, the National Science Digital Library seeks to serve a vital role in educational cyberlearning for the nation, meeting the informational and technological needs of educators and learners at all levels.

Lunar Impact Monitoring

NASA needs your help to monitor the rates and sizes of large meteoroids striking the moon's dark side. By monitoring the moon for impacts, NASA can define the meteoroid environment and identify the risks that meteors pose to future lunar exploration. This data will help engineers design lunar spacecraft, habitats, vehicles, and extra-vehicular activity suits to protect human explorers from the stresses of the lunar environment.

Citizen Sky

Help solve the mystery of epsilon Aurigae, a star that has baffled scientists since 1821. You don’t need any prior scientific training to observe and record the changing brightness of this star this site provides all of the tools you need to become a citizen scientist, including a training program that begins with stars that are easy to find and observe. Slowly the stars become more challenging as you go down the list. By the time you reach epsilon Aurigae at the bottom of the list, you’ll be an expert variable star observer contributing real data to professional scientists.

Stellar Classification Online Public Exploration (SCOPE)

Stellar Classification Online Public Exploration needs the help of citizen scientists to observe and classify stars never before classified. The goal is to mine data from photographic images of star spectra, which result from light absorption in the outer surface of a star. Star spectra are made available online where citizen scientists can compare them to stars with known spectra.

Don't wait--be the first to classify one of hundreds of thousands of stars that have never been seen before!

Radio JOVE

NASA's Radio JOVE project enables students and amateur scientists to observe natural radio emissions from Jupiter, the Sun, and our galaxy. Participants learn about radio astronomy first-hand by building their own radio telescope from an inexpensive kit and/or using remote radio telescopes through the Internet. They also collaborate with each other through interactions and sharing of data on the network.

The Radio JOVE project began in 1998. Since then, more than 1,600 teams of students and interested individuals have purchased non-profit radio telescope kits and are learning radio astronomy by building and operating a radio telescope. This self-supporting, non-profit program continues to thrive and inspire new groups of students as well as individuals.

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