You can contribute to scientific research in half an hour!
There are increasing citizen science projects available for you to participate in, even if you have little or no scientific background. All you need is a web-accessible computer and an interest to contribute to scientific research. Beyond that, the projects will give you the information you need to participate.
Zooniverse is a portal that has a range of popular and reputable citizen science projects across the fields of space, climate, humanities and nature. Following are the astronomy projects currently available:
- How do galaxies form?
You can help classify NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope galaxy images according to their shapes — a task at which your brain is better than even the most advanced computer. This helps develop our understanding of how galaxies formed.
- Explore the surface of the Moon
You can help develop the study of the lunar surface in unprecedented detail by helping to visually classify some of the millions of images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
- Study explosions on the Sun
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.
- How do galaxies merge?
Interacting galaxies are galaxies that exhibit a gravitational influence on one another. This influence is exhibited over the course of millions or even billions of years as two or more galaxies pass near one another which can cause the galaxies to be distorted and possibly merge.
- Search for exploding stars
This project is to help find exploding stars – supernovae. Data for the site is provided by an automatic survey in California, at the Palomar Observatory, and astronomers are ready to follow up on citizen scientists’ best candidates at telescopes around the world.
- Find planets around stars
Look at data from the NASA Kepler Mission to discover planets orbiting other stars.
- How do stars form?
Citizen scientists can help interpret infrared image data from the Spitzer Space Telescope. This can help scientists learn how stars form and how our galaxy changes and evolves with time.