Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to participate in and contribute to important space research while having fun at the same time. Whether you’re interested in searching for E.T. or want to help scientists better understand stars, there are innovative sites available today that let you contribute in multiple ways.
Here are 5 examples of exciting citizen science resources I’ve found that are worth checking out. Have a read and, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not jump in and get involved? Your help is needed more than ever.
If you know of other projects/resources, feel free to share them below as well. Happy universe hunting!
The Zooniverse and the suite of projects it contains is produced, maintained and developed by the Citizen Science Alliance. The member institutions of the CSA work with many academic and other partners around the world to produce projects that use the efforts and ability of volunteers to help scientists and researchers deal with the flood of data that confronts them. At the time of writing, Zooniverse has just under 600,000 citizen scientists contributing to their efforts.
Citizen Sky welcomes everyone to be a citizen scientist. They will guide you through the process of how to observe epsilon Aurigae, how to send in your observations, and then how to see your results, analyze them, and even publish them in a scientific journal! No previous experience is required as they teach you all you need to know!
The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. The GLOBE at Night campaign has run for two weeks each winter/spring for the last six years. Through 2011, people in 115 countries contributed 66,000 measurements, making GLOBE at Night one of the most successful light pollution awareness campaigns.
If you don’t have time to participate in actual online research, there are a growing number of scientists that could use your financial contributions. Crowdfunding sites such as Petridish, FundaGeek, and Kickstarter provide a wide range of projects for you to choose and contributions typically can be as low as $1. This is a great way to contribute to space exploration and truly proves that together, we can make a difference.
SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.
- SETI Live to Crowdsource Search for Extraterrestrials (unastronomy.com)