Everett, Wash.-based OceanGate is signing up citizen explorers for a series of deep-sea submersible dives in the Hudson Canyon, a channel off the coast of New York City that the company calls “the Grand Canyon of the Ocean.”
NASA’s Juno orbiter has sent back its 11th crop of close-ups from Jupiter, and that means it’s time for another eye-opening, jaw-dropping photo album created by citizen scientists.
Juno flew as close as 2,100 miles above the planet’s cloud tops on Feb. 7 for what’s known as Perijove 11, at the completion of its 10th science orbit.
NASA says this close encounter was a gravity science orientation pass, which means Juno could point its transmitters directly at Earth to downlink data in real time to the Deep Space Network’s radio antenna installation in Goldstone, Calif.
Juno’s primary mission is to study Jupiter’s gravitational and magnetic fields, and get a better sense of the planet’s internal composition. But the spacecraft also has an imaging device known as JunoCam that’s taking pictures primarily for public consumption and science outreach.
Some photo processing mavens have gotten wickedly good at taking NASA’s raw images and making them pop. So, without further ado, check out the latest gems from Jupiter.
It’s fitting that a four-hour documentary series about citizen scientists, titled “The Crowd and the Cloud,” is available to the crowd via the cloud a week before its debut on public television.
“The Crowd and the Cloud” showcases some of the people on the front lines of the citizen science movement, which enlists regular folks to gather observations and crunch data, often using online tools.
Researchers say citizen science projects contribute billions of dollars a year in donated labor. Such efforts can be as old as the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, which dates back to 1900, or as new as Astronomy Rewind, a cosmic picture-sorting project that went online just last week.
Citizen scientists can join an online hunt for icy worlds, brown dwarfs and other yet-to-be-discovered objects beyond the orbit of Neptune, using a technique that’s not all that different from the method that led to Pluto’s discovery 87 years ago.
“Backyard Worlds: Planet 9” could even lead to the discovery of a super-Earth that may (or may not) be hidden on the solar system’s far frontier. The icy world known as Planet Nine or Planet X is only theoretical for now, but its existence would explain some of the puzzles surrounding the weird orbits of some far-out objects.
One of NASA’s longest-running citizen science programs isn’t just for kids anymore: A newly released app called GLOBE Observer can turn any smartphone user into a cloud researcher.
And we don’t mean “cloud” in the computing sense. A program called Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, is looking for a wide range of cloud imagery that can feed into climate research.
“Clouds are one of the most important factors in understanding how climate is changing now, and how it’s going to change in the future,” Holli Riebeek Kohl, NASA lead for the GLOBE Observer project, explained today in a news release.