Who could have thought that being restricted to our homes would bring so many people closer to astronomy? With one-third of the world under lockdown at one point, a record number of people pitched in to help citizen science projects collect information about the celestial world. Citizen science enables members of the public to contribute to scientific research and, at a time when so much lab and fieldwork has been put on hold, citizen scientists grant the scientific community access to large amounts of crowdsourced data. With Zwicky’s Quirky Transients, scientists are inviting spirited volunteers to help them generate a dataset to characterize astronomical objects from the Zwicky Transient Facility.
About Zwicky’s Quirky Transients
Zwicky’s Quirky Transients is a citizen science project that is carrying the highly successful legacy of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). Zwicky’s Quirky Transients uses a new camera with a 47 square degree field of view positioned on the Samuel Oschin 48-inch Schmidt telescope. Scientists are now seeking help from curious volunteers to help them discover hundreds of thousands of varying objects from the data. The data includes a fraction of artifacts (bogus) and the responsibility of the volunteers is to mark such bogus objects apart from real/genuine sources. You can certainly help them do that!
Recurred imaging of the Northern sky will present a photometric variability record with nearly 300 observations each year, ideal for investigations of variable stars, binaries, AGN, and asteroids. Once completed, classifications will be used as input to machine learning algorithms.
As the pandemic caused entire industries and most international travel to an abrupt halt, many people now want to utilize this opportunity for amazing scientific discoveries. A large global taskforce of volunteer data gatherers is eager to utilize this change, revealing to researchers with impressive clarity of how the pandemic affected their lives positively.
Being stuck indoors also concentrated minds on unusual things and allowed people with a good internet connection to log records of celestial objects thousands of miles away.
How To Get Involved in Zwicky’s Quirky Transients?
Today’s opportunities to participate in citizen science are tremendous. Odds are there is a citizen science project that matches with any hobby, interest, or curiosity that you may have. Even participating is quite easy! To get involved in Zwicky’s Quirky Transients, you can simply visit the home page of the project and get started with the characterization of the astronomical objects. You can use your mobile phone or a laptop to collect and submit observations and to see outcomes. Else If you’d like any more information about this project, you may contact them via the Contact Us page. The idea behind Zwicky’s Quirky Transients is that anyone anywhere can participate in meaningful scientific research.
Become A Member Now!
There are many ongoing citizen science projects in astronomy across the world, and many citizen scientists access their websites through the internet to engage in the data classification. This not only helps researchers, but it also helps more people appreciate the infinite wonders of the universe. We hope that the enthusiasm will continue long after lockdown has ended, so that more thoughtful and responsive communities emerge from the other side of COVID-19.