It has been a while, so I thought I’d update everyone on a few components of the Citizen Sky Project.
The website continues to grow with more and more content and features being added. Very shortly you will be able to submit and view your own data via the Citizen Sky website (under the “Data” menu.) After that our wonderful web developer, Kate, will start to work on activating the team section of the site. Go read the overview if you haven’t heard about the Citizen Sky Team concept!Read more
Up until this point the Citizen Sky project has been operating with preliminary funding approval from the National Science Foundation (NSF.) In recent weeks we have been dealing with the last bits of "red tape" in the official approval process. Around lunchtime today we received word from the NSF that the final stages of processing have been completed and that the Citizen Sky grant has been officially awarded!
We are very excited to continue our progress on the Citizen Sky Project with the official support of the National Science Foundation!Read more
- Assume they are lying to deceive you!
- Know they are bad observers, so their opinion is worthless!
- They could be, and probably are, completely crazy. How many variable star observers have you met? I rest my case.
The end of the calendar year marks an end and a beginning for many cycles, among them the annual bird count conducted by the Audubon Society - this year being their 110th census, making it the longest-running volunteer or citizen science effort. Results of the Christmas Bird Count are being used to gauge climate change effects, among many other purposes. Many birders are also avid astronomers, sharing a love of observing and recording data. AAVSO - the American Association of Variable Star Observers - comes in a close second at 98 years, for conducting one of the longest running citizen science activities as well. The millions of observations reported to AAVSO are useful for all kinds of astrophysical studies, including this focus on epsilon Aurigae.Read more
I decided to postpone my discussion of IRTF for one more day to announce something even cooler! The DSLR Documentation and Reduction team has released their first set of tutorials for general use. These tutorials walk you through how you can use your DSLR camera (or any other camera that can take RAW files) to do high-precision photometry, acheiving results of 0.01 or 0.001 mag precision!Read more
A new, open-source data visualization and analysis tool called VStar is now ready for download. It is the product of a Citizen Sky programming team led by David Benn - VStar Software Development Team. We are very proud of VStar and thank the team for the many, many hours of hard work that have gone into creating this tool.
We will be hosting a chat this Friday, April 9 starting at 16 UT (Noon Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, and 9:00 AM Pacific). This chat is a little different than our previous chats because we have partnered up with Astronomers Without Borders and their Global Astronomy Month project.
This chat will be much like our other "Beginners' Chats" in the past in that the goal will be to answer questions about Citizen Sky, Astronomers without Borders, epsilon Aurigae, and/or astronomy in general. The tone will be tailored to new participants in the project so this is a great chance to find out more about the project without feeling overwhelmed by the scale of the project. Also, Rebecca Turner, the project manager, will be on hand to answer general questions about Citizen Sky.Read more
This weeks' big announcement can now be made, the paper that Dr. Stencel alluded to
is now published (in the April 8 issue of Nature). If you subscribe to Nature, you can access the article here. For those of you who do not have a subscription to Nature, I'll post up the article as submitted to a website and include the link later this week. Until then, say hello to the disk:Read more