40,000 Amateur Astronomers Have Classified Two Million Objects

sunsets.jpg"More than 40,000 amateur astronomers have classified two million unidentified heavenly bodies found by the SkyMapper telescope at The Australian National University (ANU). Among the haystack of celestial data, the volunteers uncovered five sought-after supernovas, extremely bright exploding stars, which provide crucial information about the history and future of the universe. "It was a huge success, everyone was really excited to take part," said Dr Richard Scalzo, from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "One volunteer was so determined to find a supernova that he stayed online for 25 hours. Unfortunately he didn't find one, but he did find an unusual variable star, which we think might explode in the next 700 million years or so." The SkyMapper telescope, at the Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran in central New South Wales, is creating a digital survey of the entire southern sky with a detailed record of more than a billion stars and galaxies."


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