Come, Explore the Universe With Us!

Citizen science online is catching on these days. Not just for your screensaver anymore, these projects let you get your hands dirty, metaphorically speaking. You can classify galaxies or fold proteins.

I am really happy to share this project which is now in beta and building a community for astronomical research: CosmoQuest.

The first project, Moon Mappers, is underway, where you can classify surface features from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s images of the Moon. Get started with crater classifications, or pit your visual recognition software (aka your brain) against a computer.

CosmoQuest is more than just a place in which to play with data, though that is pretty cool. It’s a blog, a community forum, and a place to learn and share. And, it’s growing, so join in now! Coming soon are projects mapping the surface of asteroid Vesta and the planet Mercury.

Also, I am very happy to say that I will be working for CosmoQuest as a post-doc in a few months. That’s right; #WillAstronomForNoms was a success, and I’m going to be Pamela Gay‘s clone! Or something like that… we haven’t worked out the genetics yet.

So, I’m pretty excited, and I’m also trying to finish my thesis so I can get there! Lots. Of. Words. Wheee! Target defense date is sometime in the first week of May. So when I lose my mind between now and then, you know why.