Gravity Spy: Where Citizen Scientists Hunt For Gravitational Waves

Gravity Spy: Where Citizen Scientists Hunt For Gravitational Waves

If your children are home for the summer, either completely or in amounts you didn’t earlier assume, they might be looking for something meaningful to do. Or you may be looking for something for them to do. That’s where citizen science projects can come into the picture.  Citizen science allows anyone to engage and adheres to agreed-upon measurement protocols, and helps to provide data for research projects that would likely be unthinkable without your contribution. Engaging in these efforts could help children improve their science skills. With Gravity Spy, Here is your chance to involve your children to help scientists at LIGO search for gravitational waves, the elusive ripples of spacetime.

About Gravity Spy

The Gravity Spy project recruits citizen scientists to help physicists and astronomers serving on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). With a system as amazingly sensitive as LIGO, origins of noise in the system can conflict with the research for gravitational-wave signals that come from merging black holes or other astrophysical methods. 

Interestingly, though, one of the most reliable methods to look for noise, and distinguish between different origins of noise, is still the human eye. Therefore, through Gravity Spy, scientists are seeking help from citizen scientists, who will have the opportunity to learn to distinguish and classify potentially new origins of noise in the LIGO system.

By picking the right classification for a given noise, you will help computers learn to do this classification themselves on much larger datasets, which helps scientists determine and eradicate the origins of noise. The human eye is still far better than computers at identifying complex differences across images and when an image simply does not fit within a known classification.

If you are interested to help LIGO proceed to make scientific history, then Gravity Spy is the Citizen Science program for you! Click, Sign Up For Gravity Spy! to get started today!

How To Get Involved In Gravity Spy?

Ever had a time when you believed your computer was smarter than you? Well, now is your opportunity to teach your computer a thing or two! The human eye has proven time and time again to be a valuable tool in pattern identification. One of the discoveries of this citizen science project is that citizen scientists and computer algorithms will work in a closed association, helping one another to optimally classify and identify glitches. 

To participate in this project, you just have to sign up for the project and you’re good to go. Citizen scientists have to analyze and distinguish these glitch morphologies, defining new glitch categories to be used in the training of the machine learning algorithms.

Using the powers of both humans and computers, this project will keep LIGO data as precise as possible, and help to unlock more of the gravitational wave universe.

Sign up now, It’s Free!

Citizen science, also known as crowd science, is a structured way for curious volunteers to help scientists accumulate or investigate huge data sets. The collaboration is a two-way street, scientists can examine areas that would otherwise take too long or be too costly, volunteers have the joy of contributing to analysis and finding out more about a specific area along the way. Excited for more ways to contribute to LIGO science? Check out Einstein@Home, where your computer’s idle time is utilized to help search for gravitational waves in LIGO data. Enjoy and happy glitch hunting!

Close Menu