Solar scientists from the Royal Observatory of Belgium launched the citizen science project Val-u-Sun. This project, open to everyone, allows citizens to help research by counting sunspots from their archive.
Sunspots are dark, ‘cold’ spots on the surface of the Sun. Observers around the globe have counted and drawn them by hand for more than 400 years and still continue to do so. The reason they still do it in the old fashioned-way, with a pencil and a paper sheet, is to keep the continuity between past and modern observations. By applying the same method, scientists can compare the sunspots from the past with present-day sunspots. This gives one of the longest scientific data archives in the history of science, dating back from Galileo’s observations and drawings more than 400 years ago.
Citizens can help the solar scientists of the Royal Observatory of Belgium by counting sunspots on the original drawings from the SIDC archive. To participate to this project and for more information, visit the Val-u-Sun website: http://sidc.be/valusun/citizenscience/index.php
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