Citizen science from the outback

Via my friend Peter, I see that the BBC News website has a slideshow of astronomical images taken by retired miner and amateur astronomer Trevor Barry from Broken Hill, New South Wales. Trevor has a large Meade telescope and spotted an electrical storm occurring on Saturn. I love that he went around telling everyone in the neighbourhood when he first found it. As he says, he was "stoked". Trevor's images are great and he knows what he's talking about; he did a distance learning course with Swinburne Astronomy Online.

According to the ABC, an associate of the radio and plasma wave science team at the University of Iowa heard about it and now Trevor is one of four amateur astronomers around the world contributing to the project. The ground-based observations from Earth are needed because the Cassini spacecraft can't observe the storm every day as it is orbiting the planet. A great example of a way to be a citizen scientist.

Thinking of things Australian, Ian Musgrave has been observing Comet 2007 W1 Boattini from the ground and from space using STEREO over the last few weeks.

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 24th Jun 2008 (12:16 BST) | Permalink
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