The people behind the Zooniverse series of citizen science programs have another great offering: The Milky Way Project.
In this project, organizers want you to review infrared images taken by a camera on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. The photos were part of a survey called GLIMPSE, which is designed to map the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. More than 440,000 images need to be reviewed.
You’ll be looking for and marking patterns in the interstellar dust: bubbles, star clusters, EGOs (strange green smudges), galaxies, and other objects, in a bid to help researchers learn more about how stars form, and how their formation affects space around them.
We already know that interstellar dust, which is roughly one-tenth the size of a grain of sand, is a critical part of star formation; clouds of dust and gas collapse to form stars. But exactly how the teeny silicon particles behave is still poorly understood. Classifying and sorting the images, you will be giving researchers a way to piece together the story of how stars and galaxies are born and evolve.
As usual, the imagery is gorgeous, and the interface is simple to use. You can check out the guide on this page.