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👽 Advice: Check out this selection of articles that explain everything you need to know about using your telescopes with the UNISTELLAR version 3.0 application.

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Citizen Science : Missions

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Learn more about our program: What Is the Citizen Science Program?

Join our Citizen Science program and participate in different observations missions. Our Citizen Astronomers observe space objects such as asteroids, comets, exoplanets and more. No matter your generation, geography, education or interests, there is a meaningful citizen science program for you.

 

Once you are a member of our program, you can participate in citizen science missions directly from the app.

The science page can be reached from the bottom menu in the application.

Tap on the Science button to reach the science page.

 

There are currently five different types of mission you can take part in.

 

Asteroid occultations

Asteroid occultation detection entails observing an asteroid pass between a bright star and your location on Earth. The telescope’s recording of the star’s blinking provides valuable data that astronomers can use to learn more about an asteroid’s trajectory, size, shape, and composition. When launching an observation campaign, scientists invite telescope users to join their search by activating “Occultation Mode” on their devices. Observe the sky with your telescope, send this data to scientists, and help keep the world informed about and aware of asteroids. You will then receive the results of your occultation. No matter where you live in the world, there is probably an occultation that you can observe.

 

Exoplanet transits

An extrasolar planet – better known as an exoplanet – is a distant planet orbiting a star other than our Sun. As exoplanets orbit their parent star, they may pass – or transit – in front of that star as seen from Earth. As it transits, the exoplanet blocks out a fraction of the star’s light. This small change in the star’s light can be observed by space scientists and Unistellar Citizen Astronomers to detect exoplanets. So far, space scientists have discovered and confirmed over 5,000 exoplanets, and with their Unistellar telescopes, Citizen Astronomers can confirm even more of these alien worlds!

 

Planetary defense

Our planet is not free from danger. Our solar system is home to other celestial bodies such as asteroids and artificial objects. Asteroids sometimes cross the Earth’s orbit. Some of these near-Earth asteroids are “potentially hazardous asteroids,” meaning they could crash into the Earth. The Planetary Defense program aims to locate, track, and characterize these near-Earth objects (NEOs) in our solar system. Each month, Unistellar scientists suggest different targets to observe with your telescope.

 

Cometary activity

A comet is a small Solar System body made of ices and dust. When a comet gets close enough to the Sun on its orbit, ices on the surface will turn to gas. This phenomenon gives rise to the beautiful tails comets are known for. Comets may break into multiple pieces, visit us only once every century, or even leave our Solar System. Although comets are hard to predict, Citizen Astronomers can observe their close approaches and monitor their activity to help space scientists understand cometary behavior and structure.

 

Cosmic Cataclyms

Cosmic cataclysms are mysterious and fleeting explosions that may be observable in the night sky for anywhere from a few seconds to weeks, or even years. For example, supernovae and gamma-ray bursts are high-powered cosmic explosions that we know of, but there are many other exotic happenings in the night sky yet to be studied and understood. In such explosions, there is a temporary but drastic increase in brightness that Citizen Astronomers can observe to help astronomers understand these cataclysmic events.

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