Citizen scientists' roles change as Big Data sweeps astronomy

Crowdsourced projects like Galaxy Zoo and Mercury Mappers exist because amateurs combine strength in numbers with visual perception skills better than computer algorithms. But next-generation observatories will erode those strengths. The role of citizen scientists will change, but it will remain critical for the future of science.

Read More

Free online courses for amateur space explorers

Free online courses for amateur space explorers

Want to learn more about planetary science and astronomy? Top universities around the world run open online courses that anyone can take - free of charge. You won't get credit or a degree from CalTech or MIT, but you get to learn about space and our place in it from the top scientists in the world.

Read More

Crowdfunding Update April 14, 2014

Weekly notes on space-related crowdfunding projects.

Amateur Space News April 9, 2014

Today’s amateur headlines include a proposed community observatory in Jackson Hole, a new educational seismic network in Trinidad and Tobago, profiles of a Mars One candidate and a high school rocket team, plus reports on the Mars opposition and the Lyrids meteor shower.

Read More

Supernova Alerts

Supernovae and other short-lived, unpredictable cosmic events pose a challenge astronomers. They want to collect data during the earliest phases of the exposure, but critical hours or days may pass before anyone notices the event. The astronomy community has several alert systems that spread the word so professional and amateur astronomers alike can observe the stellar explosions.

Read More

American Association of Variable Star Observers

The American Association of Variable Star Observers brings amateur and professional astronomers together to study the changing light from other stars. The AAVSO’s members have spent the past century making important contributions to science that professionals cannot make on their own. 

Read More

Citizen Sky - learn to study variable stars

The American Association of Variable Star Observers created the Citizen Sky program to enlist amateurs around the world and study the 2009-2011 eclipse of the binary star system epsilon Aurigae. By the end of the eclipse amateurs had submitted over eight thousand observations, making epsilon Aurigae the most thoroughly-observed variable star in history. 

Read More

SalsaJ Astronomical Image Analysis App

SalsaJ was developed to let middle and high school students analyze real astronomical data in the classroom, but it also works as an accessible app for amateurs of all ages.

Read More

Skynet University

Skynet University offers self-paced online versions of the introductory astronomy courses taught at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. While taking the courses you have access to UNC’s Skynet network of robotic telescopes in Chile, Australia, and North Carolina so you can make your own observations of planets, nebulae, and galaxies.

Read More

Skynet Junior Scholar Program

The Skynet Junior Scholar Program lets over 1,400 middle school students in Wisconsin, Virginia, and North Carolina learn astronomy and even conduct astronomical research by controlling professional telescopes in Chile, Australia, and the United States.

Read More

Galileo Teacher Training Program

The network of schools and teachers in the Galileo Teacher Training Program train other teachers in the science and techniques of astronomy. The program trains teachers to become Galileo Teachers and Ambassadors. Galileo Teachers use the program’s resources in the classroom while Galileo Ambassadors conduct local workshops to recruit more Galileo Teachers. As a program of the International Astronomical Union, the Galileo Teachers Training Program links its teachers with professional astronomers