Eclipse Megamovie Project launches two new citizen science projects

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Friday, December 15, 2017

Baily’s Beads and solar prominences, as seen in the photo above, are two examples of the eclipse phenomenon you can help scientists search for in the new online citizen science project Megamovie Maestros I. // Igor Ruderman
The Eclipse Megamovie Project, a first-of-its-kind citizen science effort that brought together thousands of volunteers across the United States to capture the August 2017 total solar eclipse, received over 60,000 images! We've been pouring through them and thinking about all the different ways we can take this project to the next level.

As a result, we've launched two new opportunities for the public to get involved in our on-going scientific investigation. These brand new online citizen science projects are open to anyone, anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Curious? We hope so! Here's how you can participate:

Project A - Megamovie Maestros I on Zooniverse

In this first of multiple Zooniverse projects yet to come, you will help us determine what our volunteers actually captured by identifying eclipse phases and other phenomenon of interest. You will be shown images one at a time from the Eclipse Megamovie image database. For each image, we will ask you what you see. A tutorial and help link make choosing your answers fairly simple.

You can also "Talk" to discuss the images in more detail with our team and other project participants. Plus it's a great way to relive the eclipse and see some stunning eclipse imagery, thanks to our oh-so-talented volunteer photographers! You will even occasionally see a photo of our volunteers themselves (if they uploaded any selfies), which helps make the project fun to do too.

To learn more and get started, go here. Be sure to share this link with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Project B - Using BigQuery to Access the Entire Eclipse Megamovie Image Database in Google Cloud

This project is perhaps somewhat more for the hackers out there, but we've set it up so that anyone can try and have fun with it! You are invited to search and query the same image dataset our scientists are using. A little SQL code knowledge helps, but we've created a tutorial along with some sample query prompts for the beginners out there. Full instructions on accessing the images can be found here.

So what's the goal you ask? Well, we simply want to see what you can do with these images. Perhaps you can create an amazing collage, spot an unusual phenomenon, or even make a better Megamovie. Plus, we want to support you in this effort too. Thus, we’ve started a Google group to answer your questions and discuss what you're doing with the Megamovie image dataset.

Anyone can sign up for that group here. This might even be the best place to start, to see what others have been doing and perhaps what problems they've been encountering. But feel free to dive in at your own comfort level, and also spread the news about this additional Megamovie opportunity.


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