Space science works to answer fascinating questions about our universe, such as: Is Earth destined for another devastating asteroid impact? Does life exist elsewhere in the Milky Way? How did our Solar System form?
As a citizen scientist in the Unistellar Network, you can use your eVscope and eVscope eQuinox to help answer these questions and more. Thanks to Unistellar’s groundbreaking partnership with the SETI Institute, you are not just equipped with a powerful digital telescope, you are also operating a precise scientific instrument.
Data you collect can be shared with tenured professional astronomers at the SETI Institute, with a few simple taps in the app. These space scientists analyze astronomical data, and develop a new understanding of objects in outer space. Some of this work has never been previously completed by a consumer telescope. You are making history!
Read on to learn about seven ways you can be a real-life space scientist with Unistellar.
1. Detect a near-Earth asteroid:
Train your telescope on these fast-moving, potentially hazardous objects. Capture a flyby to help space scientists learn more about their size, shape and orbit. The thrill of success can only be matched by the pride in knowing your work could help protect humankind from a devastating impact event. Learn more at our planetary defense page.
Observe planets beyond our solar system:
The search and discovery of exoplanets (planets orbiting stars outside of our solar system) has become one of the most active and exciting areas in space science. Join professional astronomers and participate in the search and discovery of exoplanets in our galaxy. Learn more at our exoplanet detection page.
3. Hunt for comets:
Comet ATLAS was expected to become the brightest comet of 2020, visible to the naked eye, but scientists noticed it rapidly dimming and suspected that it split into multiple pieces. Forty members of the Unistellar network, located across the world, stepped in to collect a high-quality image of this beautiful cosmic phenomenon. From backyards and balconies, they collected data that was sent to Unistellar’s servers to be combined and processed. Astronomers created a “super image,” revealing the Comet ATLAS in rich color and detail. Read more about the cosmic collaboration at our Comet ATLAS blog post.
4. Uncover extra-terrestrial secrets with SETI:
Interplanetary threat or human-made traveler? That was the mystery of 2020 SO, a near-earth object discovered in August 2020 by the Hawaiian ground-based telescope Pan-STARRS1. A Unistellar citizen astronomer located in Austria captured the object from his home, using guidance from the science team at the SETI Institute and the NASA-JPL ephemeris. His observation was submitted to the Minor Planet Center and, along with other observations taken by professional and amateur astronomers around the world, helped refine 2020SO’s orbit and confirm it was indeed a rocket booster from the 60s. Read more about this fantastic 2020 SO observation.
5. Savor a supernova:
A supernova is the explosion of a star—the largest explosion that takes place in space. On January 12 2020, Japanese astronomer Koichi Itagaki discovered a bright, type Ia supernova in the elliptical galaxy NGC 4636 (subsequently named 2020ue). Following its discovery, eVscope users had the opportunity to witness this cosmic firework from 55 million light-years away.
6. Tour the life cycle of a star:
Stars have a colorful, beautiful life cycle that can be explored using your eVscope and eVscope eQuinox. Young stars—stellar nebula—often have clever nicknames that evoke their unique shapes and colors. Planetary nebulae can be similarly colorful and thrilling, but even a dense star cluster or bright supernova can be exciting enough to make a citizen scientist feel like a kid again. With the Unistellar app, you can navigate the cosmos and explore this incredible cycle in a matter of minutes.
7. Learn how light works:
Enhanced Vision is Unistellar’s patented proprietary technology that allows a live observation of faint objects, thanks to the live accumulation of the light we receive from them. Galaxies, nebulae and comets finally become visible, colorful and detailed. Learn about the entire spectrum of light to understand why objects appear in a variety of colors. Observe space from a city setting, then travel to a dark sky reserve to see how much more of the universe you can see. Your Unistellar device is only the beginning of your lifelong adventure with space science.