The PlanetQuest Collaboratory will turn your computer (Mac, PC, Linux, and others) into a virtual astronomical observatory that you can use to make and share real scientific discoveries. Our telescopes are focused on extremely dense star regions, such as the center of the galaxy in Sagittarius, and when an observing run ends and thousands of images have been collected, data will be downloaded to your computer and your Collaboratory software will begin analyzing it. You can classify stars no one has cataloged before, use the Collaboratory to do your own research, and maybe even find a new planet! The project is currently in development and alpha testing.
PQ Collaboratory has the world’s first automated rapid light curve production facility, which you can watch as it works on your data. It takes raw pixel data from observations and corrects and normalizes, given input constraints and PlanetQuest optimization algorithms. The Stellar Neighborhood Explorer module allows users to explore the region around the star they are currently working on. It uses RA and Dec coordinates to overlay onto a navigable starmap, giving you an opportunity to explore the neighborhood and learn about the nearby stellar bodies and formations around them. Additionally, the Planet Formation Modeling is an optional experiment that allows you to run hypothesis tests using given mathematical models to understand how and why planets form. The Collaboratory returns the degree of correlation for given models, allowing you to help scientists learn how and why planets form!
Interact and see who’s working on stars nearby you in the sky and strike up a conversation! You can meet friends while you learn about the universe together. Create science teams with your new friends. Collaborate with other astronomers around the world to track and report on astronomical events. The Collaboratory provides an easy way to record your observations and share your discoveries with the world!
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