Astronomical and Space Science research with Unistellar

The Unistellar eVscope eQuinox and eVscope 2 telescopes let you collaborate with other Unistellar astronomers across the world on serious, scientific research.

Programs like these are often referred to as “citizen science” and done in conjunction with working astronomers at NASA, The SETI Institute, IAU Minor Planet Center and many others.  They’re ideal for

  • High school STEM programs
  • Astronomy clubs
  • Individuals keen to contribute to science

Citizen Science programs go beyond using your telescope for observing and astrophotography.  They supply the people, the skills and perspectives to help conduct  valuable scientific research. There are simply not enough scientists, astro devices and time to collect and process all the data that exists about our Universe.

This work is especially beneficial for students as it lets them learn investigation and collaboration skills, make connections for the future, and help schools move beyond places of learning to centres of discovery and research.

You can read extensive blog articles about the Unistellar science programs here. In fact, the network of over 6,000 Unistellar devices spread across all parts of the world are the largest collection of the same type of telescopes observing the sky nearly 24/7.  The consistency and quality of the data collected by Unistellar astronomers presents unique opportunities for researchers.

Anyone can participate

No matter your age, experience or space interests, there is a meaningful Citizen Science project for you.

Your Unistellar telescope supplied by BINTEL becomes parts of a global array of digital telescopes used to observe space objects such as asteroids, comets, exoplanets and more. This data is collected by citizen astronomers and supplied to scientists who analyze the data and develop predictions and models. In fact, the over 6,000 Unistellar telescopes form the largest network of homogenous telescopes in the world capable of observing the sky nearly 24/7.  The consistency and reliability of the data produced invaluable.

Even if you are a light polluted area like the Sydney or Melbourne CBD or suburbs, you can still make valuable contributions.

What are some of the programs?

Exoplanets: The search and discovery of exoplanets (planets orbiting stars outside of our solar system) has become one of the most active and exciting areas in space science. Join professional astronomers and participate in the search and discovery of exoplanets in our galaxy. Even the largest exoplanets are beyond the reach of most telescopes, with only handful being imaged directly by telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  However, indirect observations of exoplanets from the effects they have on their host stars can be observed by Unistellar telescopes.

Two program Unistellar programs have are approved and sponsored by NASA. Learn more about the Unistellar Exoplanet research programs here 

 

Planetary Defense:  Train your telescope on the fast-moving, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids. Capture a flyby to help space scientists learn more about their size, shape and orbit.  The thrill of success can only be matched by the pride in knowing your work could help protect humankind from a devastating impact event. There’s a complete guide to how to get involved in this program with your Unistellar telescope from BINTEL here

In a recent observation, Bruno Payet used his Unistellar to observe the test of NASA’s Planetary Defence test, the DART Mission. (For more information, check out BINTEL’s post about DART here.)

The first, top-left panel shows the asteroid, which is centered in each panel, before DART’s impact. Subsequent panels show the change in brightness and emergence of the dust cloud after impact.

Asteroids: Asteroids are key components from our Solar System, holding crucial information about the origins of life. Main-belt asteroids, trojan asteroids, and more, they are still mysterious bodies. Regularly, one of these asteroids will pass in front of a bright star: This occultation event can then be recorded and analyzed through the Unistellar community. Discover more about the search for Asteroids by Unistellar telescope users here.

Unistellar’ asteroid program has recorded multiple positive detections since 2020, directly contributing to a better knowledge of these bodies: the blinking of the star, when occulted by an asteroid and recorded by an eVscope, provide valuable data so astronomers can find new information about trajectory, size, shape and composition.

During the first year of this program, the Unistellar community has already achieved remarkable successes, thanks to the ease-of-use, the speed, and the light-collection capacity of the eVscope. The network has for example detected occultations by the Orus and Leucus asteroids, two of the targets to be visited by NASA’s Lucy probe to explore the Trojan asteroids, helping guiding that mission towards these poorly known bodies.

The Lucy Mission.  Illustration courtesy of NASA

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