Brian Kruse Brian Kruse

Night Sky Network Webinar Series: Exoplanet Watch: Inviting Citizen Scientists to Observe Transiting Exoplanets

Posted on February 2, 2023 - 3:54 PM CST

2/23/2023 (Thu) - 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM CST

Tags: Webinar | SciAct Community

Event information

Join the Night Sky Network and Robert Zellem on Thursday, February 23 at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern to learn how to participate in the discovery of exoplanets.

On January 10, 2023, Exoplanet Watch was announced as NASA's newest citizen science project studying exoplanets, or planets that orbit stars beyond our solar system. The project is growing daily, and we're encouraging astronomers who have telescopes with a tracking mount and a camera to participate in the project by making your own observations of exoplanet transits. We'll show you how, when, and where to look! We'll also show you how to use our free EXOTIC (Exoplanet Timing Interpretation Code) software to make your own light curves. If you have more data than time to process it, you can contribute your own observations of transiting exoplanets so that other citizen scientists can make their own light curves. Exoplanet Watch participants have studied 275 different exoplanets so far, and created more than 1,500 light curves. With your help, we can expand the reach of the project. We have participants in 24 time zones already, but the more participants we have, the better. Your work will help make the timing for upcoming James Webb Space Telescope exoplanet observations more precise, freeing up valuable space telescope time for other scientists. If your observations or your light curves are used in a scientific paper, you will get credit as a co-author on the paper. We'll walk you through our website and how to participate in the project.

 Rob Zellem is an exoplanet astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on ground- and space-based observations of the atmospheres of exoplanets, planets outside of our Solar System. He is the Project Lead of Exoplanet Watch, a citizen science project that will aid in the characterization of exoplanets. Rob is also a member of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope's Coronagraph Instrument (CGI; an instrument that will directly-image exoplanets) Project Science Team and is the lead of developing its Science Calibration Plan. He is the JPL Commissioning Lead of NESSI, a new multi-object spectrograph at Palomar Observatory that will study tens of these alien worlds. He has been involved in benchmarking the performance through simulations of NASA and ESA exoplanet-dedicated missions such as CASE, the NASA contribution to ESA's ARIEL mission, and the Astro2020 missions Origins Space Telescope and HabEx.

Public Viewing on YouTube: YouTube Link:
Exoplanet Watch website: