JUN 30, 2022 8:00 PM PDT

New Citizen Science Project to Identify Clouds on Jupiter

Have you ever wanted to make a discovery in space? A new citizen science project led by a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota allows volunteers to help their team learn more about the atmosphere of Jupiter.

The atmosphere of Jupiter contains many clouds of different shapes and sizes, and the team is looking for citizen scientists to help identify and categorize clouds in tens of thousands of images of Jupiter obtained by the Juno spacecraft. The best part? You can do this from the comfort of your own home right through a web browser!

An image of Jupiter that shows the huge diversity in the colors and shape of vortices (hurricane-like storms) in the atmosphere of Jupiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/Ramanakumar Sankar

The project is called Jovian Vortex Hunter and it is hosted on the Zooniverse platform. Zooniverse is the “world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.” The wonderful thing about the projects hosted on this website is that anyone can volunteer and you do not need any specialized background or training to be involved; short tutorials are available on the platform. The platform hosts projects in a variety of disciplines, so there is sure to be something of interest to almost anyone. Humans have a unique ability to recognize patterns and these projects make use of that ability. Many of the projects have thousands of images that need to be analyzed and it would normally take a team of researchers years to complete, but when the data is presented in a fun and engaging way to millions of people, the data can be analyzed very quickly!

The Jovian Vortex Hunter project allows the public to look at more than 60,000 images obtained by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which has been orbiting around Jupiter since 2016, collecting gigabytes of data. Citizen scientists are tasked with identifying and categorizing atmospheric vortices – or clouds that have a round of elliptical shape, much like a hurricane. This will build a catalog of different types of vortices, which will help the team begin to understand the physics of why these atmospheric features come in different shapes and sizes, and eventually how these features form and how they are related to the structure of the atmosphere of Jupiter. Perhaps they can help scientists better understand weather patterns on earth as well!

 

To learn more about this citizen science project, and to participate, visit the Jovian Vortex Hunter website!

 

Source: University of Minnesota

About the Author
PhD in Astrophysics
I'm a stellar astrophysicist by training with a passion for formal and informal education and diversity and inclusion in STEM. I love to take a humanistic approach to my work and firmly believe that all of humanity is united under one sky.
You May Also Like
JUL 29, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Black Hole Found Lurking Outside Our Galaxy
JUL 29, 2022
Black Hole Found Lurking Outside Our Galaxy
A recent study conducted by an international collaboration of experts and published in Nature Astronomy have discovered ...
SEP 02, 2022
Space & Astronomy
How Impacts Affect Planetary Bodies
SEP 02, 2022
How Impacts Affect Planetary Bodies
In a recent study published in Nature Communications, an international team of researchers discuss how impacts that plan ...
SEP 14, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Looking Back in Space: NASA's Project Gemini
SEP 14, 2022
Looking Back in Space: NASA's Project Gemini
This series will explore historic space missions from the start of the Space Age to the present day, including both crew ...
OCT 08, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Grad Student Highlights: David Handy (Florida Institute of Technology)
OCT 08, 2022
Grad Student Highlights: David Handy (Florida Institute of Technology)
David Handy is a PhD student in Biological Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) studying how b ...
OCT 22, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Cloud Cradles Haunted by Dark Planets
OCT 22, 2022
Cloud Cradles Haunted by Dark Planets
I have seen the dark universe yawning, Where the black planets roll without aim; Where they roll in their horror unheede ...
NOV 17, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Measure Size of 11-Billion-Year-Old Star
NOV 17, 2022
Astronomers Measure Size of 11-Billion-Year-Old Star
In a recent study published in Nature, an international team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota successfu ...
Loading Comments...