Astronomy Rewind: Bringing Zombie Astrophotos Back to Life

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Astronomy Rewind: Bringing Zombie Astrophotos Back to Life

Post by bystander » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:02 pm

With Astronomy Rewind, Citizen Scientists Bring Zombie Astrophotos Back to Life
American Astronomical Society | Center for Astrophysics | Zooniverse | 2017 Mar 22
A new citizen-science project will rescue tens of thousands of potentially valuable cosmic images that are mostly dead to science and bring them fully back to life. Called Astronomy Rewind, the effort, which launches today (22 March 2017), will take photographs, radio maps, and other telescopic images that have been scanned from the pages of dusty old journals and place them in context in digital sky atlases and catalogs. Anyone will then be able to find them online and compare them with modern electronic data from ground- and space-based telescopes, making possible new studies of short- and long-term changes in the heavens. ...

Astronomy Rewind is the latest citizen-science program on the Zooniverse platform, which debuted at Oxford University a decade ago with Galaxy Zoo and now hosts more than 50 active “people-powered” projects across a variety of scientific disciplines. After going through a short exercise to learn what they’re looking for, users will view scanned pages from the journals of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) dating from the 19th century to the mid-1990s, when the Society began publishing electronically. Volunteers’ first task will be to determine what types of images the pages contain: photos of celestial objects with (or without) sky coordinates? maps of planetary surfaces with (or without) grids of latitude and longitude? graphs or other types of diagrams?

The images of most interest are ones whose scale, orientation, and sky position can be nailed down by some combination of labels on or around the images plus details provided in the text or captions. Pictures that lack such information but clearly show recognizable stars, galaxies, or other celestial objects will be sent to, an automated online service that compares astrophotos to star catalogs to determine what areas of sky they show. ...

Now You Can Raise Zombie Astrophotos
AAS Publishing News | 2017 Mar 22
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