Explore Space with SciStarter

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI/AURA

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Happy Halloween! Tonight, you’ll be treated to a Blue Moon. Learn more.

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it’s prime stargazing time! To celebrate, we’re featuring citizen science projects ideal for the astronomically-inclined, both those who love going out into the cool night air and those who prefer exploring from the comfort of their easy chairs. Either way, the cosmos await!

Cheers,
The SciStarter Team

What mysteries await in the outer reaches of our solar system, beyond Neptune? Undiscovered planets? Dwarf stars? Swarms of lost socks? Scientists need your help to find out! You’ll run your eyeballs over telescope images, like those at right (showing a newly discovered brown dwarf star) to spot potential new discoveries.

Location: Online

Image credit: NASA/Zooniverse

Get Started!

You and your cell phone can help NASA scientists by photographing the paths of satellites in Earth orbit. These spacecraft are accumulating and cluttering things up for scientists trying to see into space. Your contributions will help them track this growing problem.

Location: Online

Image credit: Satellite Streak Watcher

Get Started!

If you take some tomato seeds, expose them to the conditions of outer space, and then plant them, what will happen? With Tomatosphere, it’s your job to find out! The project staff provides the treated seeds, and you grow them, make observations and collect data. Tomatosphere is available to students in grades 3 through 10 in the US and Canada.

Location: US and Canada

Image credit: NASA

 

Get Started!

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made news recently by visiting asteroid Bennu. Now they’re looking for more asteroid travel destinations and, if you have an 8″ or larger telescope and a CCD camera, you can help. There are over a million asteroids with a diameter of more than 1 km, and by joining Target Asteroids!, you’ll check them out and help NASA plan future missions.

Location: Global

Image credit: NASA /JPL-Caltech

Get Started!

Even if you can barely identify the Big Dipper, your amazing human brain can ID properties of galaxies that baffle even the most powerful computers. That’s why the Spiral Graph Project needs your help. You’ll measure how tightly wrapped spiral arms are in galaxies and identify interesting candidates for future, detailed telescope observations.

Location: Online

Image credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Get Started!

If you can go outside at night and look up, you have what it takes to participate in Globe at Night, a project that’s monitoring light pollution. Your job is to match the appearance of a constellation you see with 7 star maps of progressively fainter stars. Help create a global light pollution map with citizen science.

Location: Global

Get Started!

Attend the next event in the Citizen Science & Libraries series to learn how YOU can build your own air quality sensor and monitor air quality. Plus, if you’re part of a library staff and/or a community leader, we have a leadership breakout group for you at the end!

The first version of the event, in English, is at 2 PM ET on November 18. The second version of the event, in Spanish, is at 4 PM ET on the same day. Both events have closed captioning, and the English-language event has American Sign Language interpretation.

Register for the event in English

Acceda a la versión en español de este evento

Get Started!

Listen to SciStarter’s latest podcast episode to learn how you can digitize handwritten labels of natural history collection and shed light on the past with citizen science.

Image Credit: Smithsonian Transcription Center

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Every Monday at 6 PM ET, SciStarter and the NC State University Citizen Science Campus co-host “Make it Count Monday.” Join us online to learn about citizen science and how you can get involved in projects to advance research in North Carolina…and beyond!

Get Started!

Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

New on the Blogs

How Old Family Fishing Photos Unlock the History of Atlantic Fisheries, via the SciStarter Blog

Radar is Revolutionizing the Study of Migrations, but Researchers Need Birdwatchers’ Help, via Discover Magazine

Citizen Science Projects Featuring Insects, Spiders and their Relatives, via Science Connected

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Newsletter

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About the Author

Bob Hirshon

Bob Hirshon

Bob Hirshon, President, Springtail Media LLC Bob Hirshon heads up Springtail Media, specializing in science media and digital entertainment. He is Principle Investigator for the NSF-supported National Park Science Challenge, an augmented reality adventure that takes place in National Parks. Hirshon headed up the Kinetic City family of science projects, including the Peabody Award winning children’s radio drama Kinetic City Super Crew, McGraw-Hill book series and Codie Award winning website and education program. Hirshon can be heard on XM/Sirius Radio’s Kids Place Live as “Bob the Science Slob,” sharing science news and answering children’s questions.