7 Awesome Crowdsourced Science Projects You Can Help Out With Right Now
The Fourth of July is a great time for a lot of things, like eating barbecue, shooting off fireworks, and taking a day off work to knock back a couple of cold ones among friends. All of that is terrific, of course -- seriously, those are three of my top three favorite things ever -- but for our American readers, it's only appropriate to reflect for a moment on what our country has done for us, and how we can give back. Here at the Geekosystem offices, we're drastically under-prepared for things like military service -- that would just end up like Stripes, but way less funny -- but we're pretty damn good at the Internet. If you're in the same boat and looking for a way to give back, there are a wide variety of citizen science projects you can lend a hand to from the comfort of your laptop. They may never get your name in Nature, but if you want to do your part, here are seven ways you can chip in to help researchers around the world learn about everything from the populations of the ocean floor to the behavior of cancer cells.Read on...
Planet Hunter Volunteers Discover 15 Potentially Habitable Planets, Still No Way to Get There
Planet Hunters is a project that enlists the help of "citizen scientists" to help sort through the extensive data provided by NASA's Kepler mission. 15 new planets have been discovered by Planet Hunters that fall into the habitable, or "Goldilocks" zone, where the planet is at the right distance from a star to have liquid water. The discovery of the planets could mean there are many more of these worlds than initially thought, which is good news for anyone desperate to get off this planet just as soon as possible.Read on...
Your Eyes Could Find a Destination for NASA ProbeNASA's New Horizon's probe is currently hurtling toward Pluto at incredible speeds, but what happens after it gets there is still an open topic. After completing the first flyby of distant not-quite-a-planet Pluto, New Horizons will have enough fuel left over to take a stroll through the Kuiper Belt. NASA mission planners are considering making a visit to one, maybe two, of the objects in this distant field of rocky debris. To help provide data for mission planners, citizen-science instigator Zooniverse wants to bring you (yes, you!) into the search for possible targets. The project is called Icehunters, and it invites users to help ferret out icy objects that would be worth a look. Like other citizen science projects from Zooniverse, the idea is that humans are simply better and more efficient at identifying objects in messy data.Read on...