Heavenly Citizen Science
"80% of North Americans cannot see the Milky Way because of the effects of artificial lighting," according to The Guardian. Measure light pollution near you this week and contribute to this important research. Or, if you're lucky enough to see the heavens, there's a citizen science project in need of your observations. Our editors highlight seven, out-of-this-world projects, below. Find even more projects with the SciStarter Global Project Finder.
The SciStarter Team
Do you take pictures of asteroids? If so, consider sharing them! Photographing asteroids through a telescope and sharing your images will advance understanding of the asteroids near our planet.
Photo: Dora Miller
The Northern and Southern lights offer some of the most breathtaking views on earth. If you have a chance to witness them, you can report your observations. Volunteers can also verify reports from social media.
Photo: Olivier Guyon
School and community groups interested in astronomy can purchase a high-tech robotic telescope that can be used to search for planets in other solar systems. It's a great way for dedicated citizen scientists to increase their viewing power.
Photo: Bill Ingalls
American Meteor Society- Meteor Observing
Reporting meteors is easy with this project. You can enter your observation online or use a smartphone app. With the data you provide, scientists can plot meteor trajectories.
GLOBE at Night
If you're not seeing stars and meteors when you look into the night sky, it could be because of light pollution. With this project, you can measure the brightness of the night sky in your area and learn how light from urban areas impacts stargazing, ecology, and more.
Dark Sky Meter
With just the camera on your phone and an iPhone app, you can collect data on light pollution and contribute to a global map of sky brightness.
Photo: Royal Society of Chemistry
If you're interested in space travel but not in stargazing, this is the project for you! A global experiment is being discovered to determine which substances can best protect astronauts from harmful UV rays in space, and you can participate!
Want to learn more about the field of citizen science?
Do you run a project that requires tools (telescope, sensor, rain gauge)? We want to hear from you! Please take this brief survey.
Looking for more citizen science news and stories? Check out our blog at scistarter.com/blog.
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