How to Participate
How to Get Involved as an Exoplanet Watch Citizen Scientist
- Learn about exoplanets by reading articles, watching videos, and playing with interactive tools that show how astronomers find and explore other worlds outside of our own solar system
- Observe a transiting exoplanet using your own telescope (if you have one) or we can give you data taken by a remote, robotic telescope using our data checkout system. We partner with the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network at the Center for Astrophysics Harvard Smithsonian and Las Cumbres Observatory, and we have access to telescopes at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, so we can provide you with exoplanet observations to process if you don't have your own telescope
- Register with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) to get your Observer Code that will be linked to your observations. Analyze your data to convert your raw images of the night sky into measurements of the transiting exoplanet, making your own light curve using our free EXOTIC (Exoplanet Timing Interpretation Code) software. (Despite the organization's name, you don't have to be Amerrican to send your light curves to the AAVSO.)
- Our EXOTIC software leverages Google Colab which requires you to have a Google or Gmail account. If you have a Gmail address, you already have a Google account. If not, you can sign up for a free Google account.
- Submit your observations to Exoplanet Watch Send your light curve to the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and Exoplanet Watch will incorporate it onto the Exoplanet Watch Results page
- Read scientific papers that use Exoplanet Watch observations and/or data. If your observations or light curves are included in scientific papers, your name will be listed as a co-author on the paper.
- Stay connected with the Exoplanet Watch Community by joining our Slack Workspace. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletters on the right side of this webpage
- If you have questions or you get stuck, check out our Background Information, our Frequently Asked Questions and our Glossary, then reach out to us on Slack if you still need help.
- Invite your friends to join, too! Once you have learned how to create your own light curves, you can invite other people to participate, and you can mentor other people who are learning how to make light curves of transiting exoplanets.
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