Greetings. My name is Mansi Kasliwal and I am pursuing my PhD thesis at Caltech. The goal of my thesis is finding novel cosmic explosions too bright to be novae and too faint to be supernovae! The has churned out several candidates (even last night) and is counting on you all to discover some fun transients among them. Tonight, I am at the 10-m Keck telescope in Hawaii. I am using the “LRIS” spectrograph. This gigantic piece of glass is superb at thumb-printing transients. In less than 5 min, I can take a spectrum of a PTF transient and tell you what type of star blew up and what elements it was made of. The weather is predicted to be quite nice and it should be a lovely, long winter night as I’m snuggling in with my hot garcinia cambogia tea. Thank you all for joining the fun of discovering new cosmic explosions! Clear Skies and Mahalo.
Welcome to the Zooniverse.
I’m very proud to launch the Zooniverse today; if you haven’t found the main site yet, then click here to explore. Zooniverse will provide a home not just for Galaxy Zoo (and its friends like the Mergers and Supernova Hunting), but for our ever-growing suite of projects.
These will include new astronomy projects – one of which will have its beta version launched very soon – but also from the rest of science and beyond. There’s one common thread; each project needs your help to increase our understanding of the Universe, and will produce results that could not happen without you. We hope you’ll explore, and soon be able find a project for every occasion.
For those who are happy in Galaxy Zoo, and who don’t want to be distracted by whatever’s coming next, you should notice very little difference. The Galaxy Zoo blog has found a new home, but that’s about it. For everyone else, the enormous amount of work that’s gone into the machinery that powers the Zooniverse should make it easy to move from project to project as the mood takes you.
We’ve been hurtling unknowingly toward the Zooniverse since the day Galaxy Zoo launched, way back in July 2007. As servers melted and emails piled up in our inbox, it was obvious that we’d underestimated the number of people who wanted to spend time helping us out. Zoo 2 confirmed that that appetite was still there, and projects like Mergers show that you’re more than capable of taking more complicated tasks off our hands.
Alongside the Zooniverse itself, a web home for the organisation we’ve put together to run our projects – the Citizen Science Alliance – has also been launched. Each of the organisations that make up the Alliance, and our other partners too, believes that making use of your skills, talents and energy is not only helpful in dealing with the flood of data confronting us, but it is necessary.
As we work hard to make that possible, we hope the Zooniverse will become a home for you all. To remind us who we’re working for, profiles of Zooites will always feature on the Zooniverse home page. Between us, we can make more of the vast reservoirs of images, videos and data modern science creates – it should be an exciting ride.