Aaron's dissertation is about change in scientific literacy of Citizen Sky participants. His defense is November 1 and will be broadcast online via U-Stream. Click for more information.Read more
The first year of the project was dedicated to training to observe the star and report your observations. We also worked on the site infrastructure. Since the funding came through late, we had to push a lot of what we originally had planned for years 1 and 2 - into year 1 alone. This meant it was a hectic year, but it now means years 2-3 can be at a more leisurely , natural pace.
Click here for an important Sept. 24 update! An attendee of the first Citizen Sky workshop in 2009 produced a documentary of the project called Mystery of the Sky. I have seen it and consider it very professionally produced and impressive. The director/produder, Guustaaf Damave, is looking for backers to help fund the creation of the first run of DVDs. Click here for more information. The DVD includes interviews with participants at the workshop, both amateur and professional, and background material on epsilon Aurigae itself. As of this posting, the project has raised about 1/3 of what is needed to produce the DVD.Read more
Greetings fromSan Francisco, where the weather and hospitality has been awesome. If you live in the area, or palm to visit, definitely check out the California Academies of Science. It is likely the best science museum I've ever visited.
We are the midst of day two of the 2nd Citizen Sky workshop. This morning I talked about the AAVSO database and then Michael Koppelman gave a conceptual talk about uncertainty in data. He had an awesome animated gif showing how binning data can increase precision to a point, but you go too far you lose the structure In the data - basically throwing the baby out with the bath water.Read more
The 2nd Citizen Sky Workshop is fast approaching! A (hopefully) final schedule has been posted here. This workshop has an opportunity to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. I haven't been able to find a record of a workshop with a similar theme: training citizen scientists to perform their own data analysis and write research papers for peer-reviewed journals. Of course, not all of that can be covered in just 3 days (it usually takes astronomers 6 years of grad school to figure it out!). But this is hopefully the starting point in the journey. In the next year we plan to focus more on the teams and will be assigning professional liasons and putting more training materials online. Remember, all video from this workshop will be posted online.Read more
We are excited to announce the debut of a 7-minute Citizen Sky planetarium show narrated by Timothy Ferris. Please help us share the word and distribute this video far and wide!
It's a 3-day weekend for those in the USA. So here is a list of some eclipsing binary stars with expected eclipses this weekend. They are mostly bright so can be seen with the naked eye or binoculars. If you are out this weekend, look up, make a few obs and report them!
For you morning folk, our friend Algol (Beta Per - the Demon Star) will be in eclipse the evening of July 3-4. Mid eclipse is around 4:30am eastern, but it should start dimming around 12:30am or so. You don't have to stay up all night to get the whole eclipse. Just getting the start or end would be fun enough. Algol's chart is in our 10-Star Tutorial. It's brighter then epsilon Aurigae so can easily be seen from the city. Read more
Our special guest was Grant Foster, a long-time variable star data researcher and one of the best around at describing statistics to a layperson. He is recent author of the book Analyzing Light Curves: A Practical Guide. Newbies are encouraged to ask any question, don't be shy! We recommend a quick scan of our new 5-Star Analysis Tutorial before joining the chat. Advanced folk can also attend and ask more advanced questions too, but try to save them for the later half of the talk.
When VStar was published, we also published a new 5-Star Analysis Tutorial. This PDF file is meant for those completely new to variable star data analysis. If you have any interest at all in analysis, take a look at this tutorial first to see if anything strikes your fancy. Read on for more...Read more