It’s no secret we live in a world of information overload. With satellite images producing more information in one day than a person could analyze in several months, and millions of galaxies and other objects in space waiting to be classified and categorized, scientists are struggling to find new, transformative ways of doing their jobs.
At Mason, our scientists are working on citizen science projects that engage the general public in real scientific puzzles. One is called Galaxy Zoo: Mergers, which uses citizen scientists to categorize and model the more than one million galaxies of our universe with a few clicks of the keyboard.
Kirk Borne, associate professor of astrophysics and computational sciences, is working with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a partnership with more than 30 other institutions that will help create a telescope that can make a 10-year-long “movie” of the section of sky visible from its perch atop a mountain in Chile. Borne and other researchers at Mason will engage citizen scientists in educational programs related to the telescope and its vast data collecting abilities. He hopes the project will become the telescope for everyone.