HOYS Citizen Science

General Project Update

The HOYS - LCO project has now 25 participants. We have now taken 30 sets of B,V,R images of the Cocoon Nebula with 3x2min exposure times in each filter. The data are taken roughly every three days and we plan to continue with this target until it is too low in the sky to be observed. This will build up very nice light curves of the stars just from this project, but we can of course supplement them for analysis with the other HOYS data.
We are now in the second round of observations. We typically send out new calls for setting up observations every two weeks. So if you have not gotten the call for your second dataset, it might arrive soon. Please, let me know if you can't do those in time, so we can hand the slot to someone else. We aim to give people about two weeks of time to do things.
IC5146LCOdeep_20200928
Figure: A deep stack of all the LCO images taken by the participants so far. We now have roughly 3hrs of exposure time in each filter.

Analysis of HOYS data

This is a reminder that links to all our help videos for the project are on the website. This page also contains links to the analysis videos we have developed. We will update this page whenever new videos are made available and will inform everyone via this newsletter.
It has been nice to see that many of you have watched the light curve analysis video and have started to look through the HOYS data to investigate objects by themselves. Please keep playing around with the data and if you find anything interesting post about it on our social media or send it to us for inclusion into a webpage post.
As of yesterday, we have made a new video available. This video explains how you can analyse light curves in a bit more detail. In particular how you can find periodic variability in the light curves and fit the period and amplitude of the variability with a sine function. The entire process works with a so called Jupyter Notebook, which is essentially a python code. However, no knowledge of Python or any programming is needed and all software works completely online without you having to install anything on your computer. However, if you so wish, you can see and even change the code to learn a bit of programming.
Please have a look at the video and the analysis tool and try to investigate your own objects. Again, if you find anything interesting, please let us know.
We are planning further such analysis video in the near future. If you have any suggestion what kind of analysis you would like to see covered in any of them, please get in touch. We are already in the process of making one that explains how to make colour images from the data you have been taken with LCO. We hope to make this available soon.

Future Plans

As indicated, we plan to keep imaging the target region for the entire duration of the project in order to build up excellent light curves of stars in that region for analysis.
We have also been asked several times if the analysis we are trying to get you to do can be coordinated, so people do not repeat the analysis of the same object. Indeed we do have mid-term plans to let participants analyse data relevant to our research projects - in essence you will be contributing to the analysis of data for our papers. The current exercises are hence designed as training exercises to prepare participants for this future step; i.e. getting you familiar with the different tools (our web interface for light curve viewing, or the Jupyter Notebooks). And they are also there to encourage you to do your own research if you so wish.
Once the students are at a stage that they do need help from citizen scientists to systematically go through some data sets then we will set these up and ask you to help out.
Finally, if yo wish to write up a 'Participants Perspective' post for the website about your experience, than please get in touch. It is always nice to read about the project from the perspective of the people taking part and it helps us to improve what we are doing.
Thanks for taking part,
Dirk Froebrich
HOYS Citizen Science
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