Although, this point would be debatable, it really doesn’t matter because we have access to a great new partnership called Citizen Sky from the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) that has just been funded by the National Science Foundation. Citizen Sky is so exciting because it opens up an incredible opportunity for anyone interested in “looking up” to do real and very serious science.
In fact, this is not just a “fun” project that the AAVSO wants to offer to carve a few good karma, public education support notches in their belts… this project demands the use of citizen scientists because the high-tech astronomical equipment used by the professionals is not ideal for the observation needs of the data collection!
The project is looking at an odd behavior of the very large, and very bright star, Epsilon Aurigae (more). First observed back in 1821, it was realized that it’s brightness (and it is pretty bright) dims to nearly half its normal level every 27 years, and it remains dim for nearly 2 years! So something might be eclipsing the star, but it’s still odd and many hypothesis have been suggested… and scientists from the AAVSO need the help of citizen scientists to finally figure out the solution to this important observation of our universe.
Learn more about this wonderful new program, and consider taking part in what will be an historically important movement for the advancement and success of citizen science…