- The Galaxy is full of dark clouds. It is also full of holes. In visible light it is often difficult to distinguish between them. You can use the infrared data on this site to help us to tell them apart.
You'll be shown a series of images of dust in our Galaxy, taken with the Spitzer and Herschel space telescopes.
For each one you have to decide if it is a glowing cloud, a hole in the sky or something in-between. A cloud will appear bright gold and a hole will appear dark (black or very faint).
Armchair Science: Bag and Tag Glowing Galactic Clouds
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Spitzer | 2012 Dec 19
A new galactic game launches today that lets citizen scientists identify the glowing clouds where future stars will be born. The online experience, called Clouds, is a new addition to the Milky Way Project, where everyone can help astronomers to sort and measure our galaxy. Clouds features images and data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important participation from NASA.
In the rapid-fire game, players gauge whether a targeted section of a presented image is a cloud, a "hole" - an empty region of space - or something in between. The cataloging of these snapshots of the local cosmos will help astronomers learn more about the architecture and character of our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
The organizers of Clouds encourage astronomy enthusiasts to start playing now because with enough participation, important insights into the Milky Way could come as soon as early next year. ...