The coolest new citizen science project may also be the HOTTEST!
Launched this week, Solar Stormwatch is looking to citizen scientists to help spot explosions on the sun and track them across space to Earth. These explosions, also known as “coronal mass ejections” or “solar storms”, release high-energy particles that can be a safety hazard for astronauts and disrupt our satellites and power grids.
In 2006, NASA launched two identical spacecraft — one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind — to study the sun and its solar storms in 3-D. The spacecraft took thousands of images, and Solar Stormwatch scientists need your help to analyze the images and spot storms.
Solar Stormwach has a great new website full of informative diagrams and videos from the project team. Snoop around the website, and after you’ve familiarzed yourself with the basics of solar science, set up an account to get trained to identify solar storms.
Your contribtion could help scientists understand why solar storms happen and ultimately provide early warning to astronauts that could be exposed to dangerous solar radiation.