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Astronomy & Space


SatCam

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 .




Project MERCCURI! Microbes in Space!

Update: Microbes collected for this project, by citizen scientists, will blast off to the International Space Station on March 30!

Project MERCCURI: Space Station Microbiome and Microbes in Space

Project MERCCURI is a collaboration of UC Davis/microBEnet with the Science Cheerleaders, Space Florida, Nanoracks, NASA, and SciStarter.com. There are three components to the project:

1) Space Station Microbiome. Collecting microbial swab samples from the International Space Station (ISS) and examining the microbial communities therein (via 16S sequencing)

2) Swabbing Sports and Space Events. Collecting swab samples around the country at sporting and other public events from cell phones, shoes, and various surfaces (e.g. keyboards, screens, railings etc.) These will be used for comparison to the ISS samples and for a look at microbial biogeography across a national scale. In collaboration with Jack Gilbert at the Earth Microbiome Project and the Science Cheerleaders who will be organizing and leading the sampling events.

3) Microbial Playoffs. A microbial growth competition on the ISS. A subset of samples collected at public events will be cultured at UC Davis and the “best” microbe from each environment will be sent to the ISS for a “microbial playoffs” competition via Space X on March 16th! Watch the live launch of Space X on NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv A duplicate of this experiment will be conducted on earth and the results compared.




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.




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?




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.




Domeland Project

Screen capture of the Domeland realm from the NOAA weather cam atop Bald Mountain. View is looking south, and the closest granite domes are ~7 km (~4.3 mi) away.




Slooh

Since 2003 Slooh has connected land based telescopes to the internet for access by the broader public. Slooh members have taken 2.4m photos of over 40,000 celestial objects, and participated in numerous discoveries with leading astronomical institutions. Slooh’s automated observatories develop celestial images in real time for broadcast to the internet. Slooh’s technology is protected by patent 7,194,146 B2 which was awarded in 2006. Slooh’s flagship observatory is situated on Mt. Teide in the Canary Islands, in partnership with the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC). Slooh has also broadcast celestial events from partner observatories in Arizona, Japan, Hawaii, Cypress and Dubai. Slooh’s free live broadcasts of asteroids, comets, transits, eclipses, etc. feature narration by astronomy experts Bob Berman and Paul Cox and are syndicated to media outlets such as NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox News, National Geographic, Wired, The Weather Channel and more. Slooh’s live celestial events have been viewed over a billion times, the highlight of which was the 2011 lunar eclipse broadcast live on Google’s home page. Slooh’s iPad app launched in April of 2013 and makes it easy for beginners to watch live celestial event programming and take pictures from Slooh’s Canary Islands observatory.




Meteor Counter

When you go out to watch a meteor shower, bring your iPhone with you. With Meteor Counter, you can easily capture meteor observations with an innovative "piano key" interface. As you tap the keys, Meteor Counter records critical data for each meteor: time, magnitude, latitude, and longitude, along with optional verbal annotations.

Afterward, these data are automatically uploaded to NASA researchers for analysis.




Aurorasaurus

Aurorasaurus maps aurora-related Tweets and citizen science reports of the aurora during the first solar maximum (now!) with social media. The google maps contains predictions of the auroral oval based on space data, along with weather, and citizen scientist markers. When auroral activity really occurs this is the best place to go for accurate predictions of whether it can be seen in your area!




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 lite version is free and gives you a rough estimate of the night sky brightness.

The Pro version of 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.




Loss of the Night

How many stars can you see where you live? The Loss of the Night App (available for Android devices) 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 a global real-time map of light pollution.

Stargazing is a fantastic way to engage young scientists, but this ancient past time has become increasingly difficult in growing urban areas. Help scientists understand the effects of light pollution and learn about your night sky!

You don't need to leave the city to take part, in fact, the app is designed specifically for use in very 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 so many very bright stars it is extremely helpful if urban users do measurements in each season.




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.




Space Hacker Workshop

Citizens in Space has purchased 10 flights on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft which will be made available to the citizen-science community. Join us on May 4-5 to learn how you, or your experiment, could be on board.

We'll meet across the street (literally) from NASA Ames Research Center to learn how citizen scientists can build instruments and experiments with more power than a NASA satellite from a few years back...with components available at Radio Shack or Fry's Electronics.

The Space Hacker Workshop will provide hands-on exposure to a variety of microcontrollers, sensors, imaging systems, and other components that you can use to design and build microgravity, fluid-physics, life-science, and engineering experiments.

The workshop is a chance to connect with and learn from leaders from XCOR Aerospace, NASA Ames Research Center and open source development space experiment development platform ArduLab.

Citizens in Space project manager Edward Wright will be on hand to discuss flight opportunities for experiments and citizen astronauts, including an exclusive glimpse at citizen-astronaut training activities scheduled for this summer.

Laptops are suggested. Wifi is provided by the Hacker Dojo.

Registration is limited and includes coffee, snacks, and lunch both days.




Astro Drone

The Astro Drone game is part of a scientific crowd sourcing 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 iPhone app is more than a game. Players can choose to contribute to a scientific crowd sourcing 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 first release contains the training level, in which players learn to dock as well as possible to the International Space Station. New levels will be added incrementally with new releases.

AstroDrone 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!




iSeeChange: The Almanac

The iSeeChange Almanac 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.

Founded in April 2012 in Western Colorado, iSeeChange is a public radio and media experiment that fosters multimedia conversations between citizens and scientists about how seasonal weather and climate extremes affect daily American life. From the earliest spring recorded in the history of the United States, a landmark wildfire season, nationwide droughts, and weather records breaking everyday, climate affects every citizen and binds communities together.

iSeeChange is produced by Julia Kumari Drapkin in Western Colorado at KVNF Mountain Grown Community Radio as a part of Localore, a nationwide production of AIR in collaboration with Zeega, with principal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.




ZooTeach

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.




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!




Tomatosphere

Tomatosphere offers students an opportunity to run real scientific experiments and help Canadian scientists study long-term space travel.

Through a comprehensive project curriculum for students in grades 3-10, Tomatosphere aims to inspire students by engaging them in real and meaningful science. Students are charged to monitor and record the germination rate for tomato seeds that have been exposed to specific aspects of the space environment-micro-gravity, low temperatures and pressure, higher levels of radiation- and a control group of untreated seeds. Students germinate the seeds and report their results; in return, they find out how other participants (currently at 17 500 classes) have fared and receive a certificate of appreciation from an astronaut and the principal investigator of the project. Oh, and you are highly encouraged to eat your final product!

The project provides a wealth of teacher and student resources as well as supplemental curriculum to add valuable extensions to student’s learning. Registration and data submission is easy through the Tomatosphere website.




Transit of Venus App

On June 5, 2012 at sunset on the East Coast of North America and earlier for other parts of the U.S., the planet Venus will make its final trek across the face of the sun as seen from Earth until the year 2117. The last time this event occurred was on June 8, 2004 when it was watched by millions of people across the world. Get prepared for this once in a lifetime event! Check your viewing times/locations here: http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012/transit/viewing_locations.php

For over 100 years the main quest of astronomers was to pin down the distance between Earth and Sun (the Astronomical Unit), which would give them a key to the size of the solar system. Careful studies of the transit of Venus became the gold mine they would harvest to reveal this measure.
Editor's note: On 6/5, NASA will web cast the transit. Learn more here:http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012/transit/

New technologies, like this VenusTransit phone app, will allow you to send observations of the 2012 Transit of Venus to a global experiment to measure the size of the solar system. The free phone app has been developed by Norbert Schmidt of DDQ in the Netherlands.

Prior to the transit, you can use the phone app to practice timing the interior contacts using a simulation of the transit. Additionally, you can see predicted times of contact for your location. During the transit, the phone app will assist you in measuring the time of the interior contacts. After the transit, you can access your data on a map on our website.

At the start and end of the transit, Venus will touch the limb of the sun on the inside. The exact times of these contacts vary according to your location on earth as a result of parallax. By combining the contact times measured all across the world, the distance to the sun can be determined.
To download the free app, click on the "Join In" tab, above, or the "Get Starter" button on the right!




Lowell Amateur Research Initiative

Lowell Observatory is proud to announce the Lowell Amateur Research Initiative (LARI). This program seeks to pair the ever-growing and technically sophisticated amateur astronomy community in exciting research projects with Lowell astronomers.

A passionate researcher, Percival Lowell always sought to communicate new ideas and the joy of astronomy research to the public. In that same spirit, LARI brings together professional and amateur astronomers in a way that affords interested amateurs an opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research and potentially make significant contributions to science. Amateurs can help Lowell astronomers in their work and help create dedicated research teams. LARI will expand Lowell Observatory's education and public outreach missions, and promote greater awareness of astronomy and related sciences.

Currently, Lowell astronomers are conducting several projects that would benefit from the participation of amateur astronomers. These projects span a broad range of technical skills and knowledge from taking very deep images of galaxies to monitoring small stars for transient events to data mining. 




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!

Attention amateur astronomers: it’s time to Target Asteroids!

Amateur astronomers everywhere now have a chance to contribute to NASA’s long-term research of Near Earth Objects (NEOs)! The project starts in April 2012 and continues for a whole decade, with data collected directly supporting the efforts of NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission.

The OSIRIS-Rex mission, Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer mission, launches in 2016 and will reach the asteroid 1999 RQ36 in 2019, staying for over 500 days and then returning with 6 grams of material to earth in 2023.

By observing an established list of NEOs, you will have the unique opportunity to contribute to meaningful science and help direct future research and the goals of missions like OSIRIS-Rex. Amateur astronomers have a particularly valuable ability to make observations nightly, and in many cases, can make very good quality observations.

So, fire up your telescopes and start targeting some asteroids today!




SHArK Project

The Solar Hydrogen Activity Research Kit (SHArK) Project gives you the tools to discover a storable form of solar energy.

Solar energy is the only option for producing the renewable carbon-free power needed to power the planet. However, because the sun doesn't shine at night, it is critical that we develop a method to store the energy for night. Producing hydrogen from sunlight and water is an ideal solution to the storage problem.

The SHArK Project uses the process of photoelectrolysis, whereby certain metal oxides are used with solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Currently, no known stable material is capable of efficiently and inexpensively photoelectrolyzing water with visible light. There are, however, millions of untested compounds that might.

This is where students can take the reigns and contribute to real and meaningful science. The SHArK project provides inexpensive kits that include inkjet printers, laser pointers, and LEGOs® to allow students a fun and engaging way to explore chemistry and contribute potential solutions to the world’s energy problem.

Harness the power of the sun with the SHArK Project!




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.




International Space App Challenge

The International Space Apps Challenge is a 2-day, worldwide citizen science event that focuses on developing technologies to solve relevant issues on earth, and in space. The event will take place on all seven continents and will even include collaborators from the international space station. From San Francisco, Nairobi, Melbourne, and even a research station on Antarctica, participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with citizen scientists and professional scientists from a variety of cultures offering a an amazing opportunity for creating unique solutions to a growing list of over 30 global challenges.

The event will take place on April 12-13, 2014 in a variety of locations across the world. At the event, participants will compete as teams to address challenges ranging from creating a mobile geospatial data visualization application to document environmental degradation activity to creating a mobile application to aid citizens in using social media to report natural disasters. The event aims to unite governments by demonstrating the principles of the Open Government Partnership, an effort endorsed by the U.S. and 52 other countries to promote transparency, participation, and collaboration between governments and citizens. A powerful Citizen Science initiative indeed! Further, the event presents a great opportunity to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education to students through applying technology as solutions to global challenges.

The International Space Apps Challenge is a ‘codeathon’ style event where highly collaborative software development processes result in innovative solutions to unique challenges. Bringing together software developers, engineers, science students, and technologists from around the world is sure to create novel ideas of global scope. The growing list of challenges has been compiled from NASA and several other partnering international agencies; however, you can work with event planners and scientists to submit your own challenge to the event.

This event holds great potential for creating meaningful solutions to global issues and is a truly unique opportunity to collaborate with scientists around the world. Register now to join other citizen scientists and help contribute to global science!




2012 Hubble's Hidden Treasures Competition

You are invited to the Hubble Space Telescope's vast science archive to dig out the best unseen Hubble images -- and win prizes!

Over two decades in orbit, Hubble has made a huge number of observations. But hidden in Hubble’s huge data archives are still some truly breathtaking images that have never been seen in public. The archive is so vast that nobody really knows the full extent of what Hubble has observed.

This is where you come in. Researchers need you to find and tweak Hubble observations using a set of simple online tools. If you're feeling saucy, you can find Hubble observations and then process them using professional astronomical imaging software. You can win various Apple products and goodies.

Competition ends May 31, 2012.




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 scientists with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter better understand the structure and history of the lunar surface: identify, measure, and classify images of craters on the moon. Your efforts will help us define the places future missions will study closer - including perhaps even future human missions.




Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge

The Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge asks individuals and teams of programmers from around the world to develop a fuel-optimal control algorithm. The algorithm must enable a satellite to accomplish a feat that’s very difficult to do autonomously: capture a space object that’s tumbling, spinning or moving in the opposite direction.

From March 28 to April 25, 2012, challenge participants will collaborate via the Zero Robotics Website to create a computer algorithm that will be programmed into bowling-ball sized satellites called SPHERES (short for Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, and Reorient Experimental Satellites) aboard the International Space Station (ISS). An object, simulating a Phoenix payload on-orbit delivery system, will be set in motion inside the ISS under varying conditions, such as tumbling or spinning. The algorithm developed will need to direct the SPHERES satellite to approach the moving object and orient itself to contact with the object via Velcro on the SPHERES satellites.

The winners of each round will be invited to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to view the finals via videolink from the ISS, where the four algorithms will be programmed into SPHERES and tested.

Zero Robotics is co-sponsored by NASA and is run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Space Systems Laboratory to engage U.S. middle and high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).




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.




SETILive

SETILive is an exciting new project in which volunteers try to detect extraterrestrial signals from space.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) uses images from the Allen Telescope Array and powerful computer algorithms to search for these signals automatically. However, the computer algorithms have a hard time distinguishing between signals that might be extraterrestrial and those that are from earth. This is where you come in!

Researchers need your help to find interesting signals in all that noise. Eventually, they want to learn whatever tricks you use to do your classifications, so they can teach their computer algorithms to do the same thing.




Journey North

Journey North engages students in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. K-12 students share their own field observations with classmates across North America. They track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, robins, hummingbirds, whooping cranes, gray whales, bald eagles— and other birds and mammals; the budding of plants; changing sunlight; and other natural events. Find migration maps, pictures, standards-based lesson plans, activities and information to help students make local observations and fit them into a global context. Widely considered a best-practices model for education, Journey North is the nation's premiere "citizen science" project for children. The general public is welcome to participate.




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.




MAPPER

Help NASA find life on Mars by exploring the bottom of the lakes of British Columbia, Canada.

The Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) has been investigating the underwater environment with DeepWorker submersible vehicles since 2008. Now with MAPPER, you can work side-by-side with NASA scientists to explore the bottom of these lakes from the perspective of a DeepWorker pilot.

The PLRP team makes use of DeepWorker subs to explore and document freshwater carbonate formations known as microbialites that thrive in Pavilion and Kelly Lake. Many scientists believe that a better understanding of how and where these rare microbialite formations develop will lead to deeper insights into where signs of life may be found on Mars and beyond. To investigate microbialite formation in detail, terabytes of video footage and photos of the lake bottom are recorded by PLRP's DeepWorker sub pilots. This data must be analyzed to determine what types of features can be found in different parts of the lake. Ultimately, detailed maps can be generated to help answer questions like "how does microbialite texture and size vary with depth?" and "why do microbialites grow in certain parts of the lake but not in others?". But before these questions can be answered, all the data must be analyzed.




Constellation

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!




SOHO Comet Hunting

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!




theSkyNet

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!




Albedo Project

Wherever you are – anywhere in the world – contribute to science by taking a photo of a blank white piece of paper!

Photos are needed on the following dates:

September 17 and 18, 2011
September 23, 2011
November 6, 2011
December 12, 2011
February 4, 2012
March 20, 2012
May 5, 2012
June 20, 2012
August 6, 2012
September 22, 2012
November 5, 2012

Your photo will used to measure how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back from the Earth -- our planet's "albedo." It's one way scientists can monitor how much energy – and heat – is being absorbed by our planet. By contributing to the Albedo Project, you will be providing data that can be used to examine the similarities and differences of reflectivity around the world.

Should grassy surfaces have the same value in Brazil as in Norway? How does clay soil in the southeastern USA differ from sandy desert in the southwestern USA? Is there any difference in urban “hot spots” that can be attributed to latitude?

Individuals, schools, small and large groups can all use these data to help inform activities that are appropriate and effective for their communities. Whether it is maintaining the health of parks and green spaces, or legislating green building codes, there is something each can do. It is the hope of this project to present some of the actions taken, as well as follow their albedo records over time.




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.




Juniper Pollen Project

You can contribute to a nation-wide effort this spring to provide more accurate juniper pollen forecasts! Juniper pollen causes severe allergic reactions in many people. The Juniper Pollen Project is a NASA-funded collaborative effort between the USA National Phenology Network and several universities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to improve predictions of pollen release and allergy and asthma warnings.

You can join this effort by periodically checking individual juniper trees in your area for pollen cone development and reporting your observations via the USA National Phenology Network web page. Just choose one or more of our four species of juniper: Pinchot's juniper (Juniperus pinchotii), Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum), oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), or Ashe's juniper (Juniperus ashei), make observations of your juniper, and report your findings via the USA-NPN’s online system, Nature’s Notebook.




NASA 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@home

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.




Garden BirdWatch

Garden BirdWatch needs citizen scientists in the United Kingdom to gather information on how different species of birds use gardens and how this use changes over time. Gardens are an important habitat for many wild birds and provide a useful refuge for those affected by changes in the management of the countryside. The data gathered in this project enables researchers at the British Trust for Ornithology to monitor the changing fortunes of garden birds.

Some 16,000 participants currently take part in Garden BirdWatch. Participants send in simple, weekly records of bird species that they see in their gardens. This information is either submitted on paper count forms or by using Garden BirdWatch Online. Each participant also supports the project financially through an annual contribution of £15 (approximately $22). In return, participants receive the quarterly color magazine, Bird Table, count forms, and access to advice on feeding and attracting garden birds.

All new joiners will receive a free copy of an exclusive paperback version of the acclaimed "Garden Birds and Wildlife" (normally £14.99).




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.




Alabama Meteor Tracking

On the evening of May 18, NASA all-sky meteor cameras located at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and at the Walker County Science Center near Chickamauga, Ga. tracked the entry of a large meteor estimated to weigh some 60 pounds over northeastern Alabama. This meteor was first picked up at an altitude of 47 miles over northwest Huntsville, moving at a speed of 8 miles per second toward the southeast. It was last visible northeast of Gurley at an altitude of 23 miles. The meteor was quite bright, with an intensity rivaling that of the waxing crescent moon (in astronomical terms, it was about visual magnitude -8.3).

Residents who saw the meteor on the night of the 18th, or those who may have noticed or picked up an unusual rock in the vicinity are requested to contact the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Eyewitnesses are asked to give a detailed description, including the time of the sighting, and those who suspect they have a meteorite are requested to give the location of the find and provide a digital photo of the object.




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.




Stardust@home

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!




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 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.




Great World Wide Star Count

The Great World Wide Star Count is an international event that encourages learning in astronomy by inviting everyone to go outside, look skywards after dark, count the stars they see in certain constellations, and report what they see online. These observations are used to determine the amount and spread of light pollution worldwide.

Participating in the event is fun and easy! You can join thousands of other students, families and citizen scientists from around the world counting stars. Don't miss out!




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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