Amateur astronomer helps pros study super-Saturn orbiting another star

None of last week’s coverage of super-Saturn J1407b explored the role amateurs played in the research. I spoke with Belgian amateur astronomer Franz-Josef Hambsch about his passion for variable star astronomy and how that led to his participation in the super-Saturn research.

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Gifts for Astrophysicists: Amateur observations of twinkling stars

As the holidays and the new year approaches, why not make a resolution to give more… data? The economics of science limits what scientists can do on their own. If you’re an amateur astronomer, why not share your data on the twinkling stars?

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Recon's student space explorers will peer into the Solar System's far frontier

Recon's student space explorers will peer into the Solar System's far frontier

By this time next year a network of 40 high schools across the American West will start exploring the most remote regions of the Solar System thanks to  $1 million in National Science Foundation grants. Dr. Marc Buie and Dr. John Keller are the two co-investigators in Recon, the Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network. They spoke with me about how the project combines citizen science, education outreach, and planetary science.

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Amateurs Help Professionals Study the Giant Planets

Amateurs Help Professionals Study the Giant Planets

Professional planetary scientists with the International Outer Planets Watch depend on amateur observations of the giant planets. Amateurs produce near-continuous coverage of the planets and spot asteroid and comet impacts on Jupiter. Without amateurs' observations, planetary scientists would have a much harder time exploring the outer planets.

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Moon Zoo and Moon Mappers crowdsource lunar craters

Explore the Moon in the Moon Zoo and Moon Mappers crowdsourcing projects. These projects let you map features in detailed pictures from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The catalogs of lunar features you create will help scientists understand our closest neighbor in space and the history of the Solar System.

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Cosmic Ray Observatory Project

The Cosmic Ray Observatory Project links secondary schools across Nebraska with professional astronomers and physicists to study cosmic rays. The students build networked cosmic ray detectors that they mount on the roofs of their schools. The data flow into the project’s archives, letting professional astronomers study high-energy cosmic rays.

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HiSparc educational cosmic ray detector

HiSparc (English-language site) links secondary schools across Europe with professional astronomers and physicists to study cosmic rays. The students build networked cosmic ray detectors that they mount on the roofs of their schools. The data flow into the project’s archives, letting professional astronomers study high-energy cosmic rays.

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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. 

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