The End of IYA (Part 2)

The End of IYA (Part 2)

Sometimes it takes a bit longer than planned to get around to writing than expected. The second day of the IYA Closing ceremonies was filled with talks on history & vision – Who was Galileo and what was the real relationship between him and the Chrutch? How do we move forward to celebrate astronomy in years that aren’t 400 year anniversaries? How do we build on what we’ve done so that great new projects aren’t lost? And where does science go tomorrow?- Presented talks included talks from politicians, historians, and scientists. Want to see what we saw? Full video coverage is available here. In the past 400 years since Galileo turned a telescope toward the sky and reported what he was seeing, the technology has come a long ways. From...

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dotAstronomy Day 1: Citizen Science

dotAstronomy Day 1: Citizen Science

Here at dotAstronomy, each day of the conference is dedicated to a different topic: Citizen Science, Web-based Research, Visualization, and Outreach. Each topic is tangled with new media and web 2.0 technologies, and by the end of the week we hope to have made the web a little bit richer to explore. Here on day 1, we’re starting in on what is perhaps the most overarching theme: Citizen Science. At its most fundamental level, citizen science is the act of every day people making contributions to science that produce a new understanding of the topic at hand: this is real research by real people. In astronomy, variable star observations are perhaps the oldest form of citizen science. For almost 100 years the American Association of Variable Star Observers...

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Citizen Plumbing (It’s not quite Galaxy Zoo)

If, like me, you are eagerly awaiting the launch of galaxy Zoo 2, but not quite sure what to do in interim, I invite you to participate in a new citizen plumbing project dedicated to determining when (and why) the flame in the video below keeps going out. FlexMonkeyPatch “Pilot Episode,” is a program to figure out why my husband and I can’t always take hot showers. For mysterious reasons, at completely random intervals, our water heater’s pilot light fails. This usually happens in the middle of the night. Sometimes we’ll be okay for weeks, sometimes it will go out 3 times in 1 day. We’ve had the plumber out several times, and he hasn’t a clue. Having gotten sick and tired of traipsing in PJs from the 2nd floor bathroom to...

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