The project "the Star Hunt" and astronomers Giuliana Cosentino, Rubén Fedriani and Jonathan Tan at Chalmers' Department of Space, Earth and Environment have been selected for the 2020 Help a Scientist program, run by the Nobel Prize Museum. In this, the 10th edition of the Help a Scientist program, about 1 000 participating Swedish school students from about 30 schools will be the first Star Hunters as this is the first space-astronomy project offered by the program.
In the project The Star Hunt the astronomers need help finding new stars that are being born from dusty interstellar clouds in our galaxy.
– We have a lot of knowledge about space and the stars in our galaxy, but there are still a lot of mysteries surrounding the birth of new stars. In this project we need the students to help us understand where stars come from, the origin of stars in our galaxy - oncluding our own Sun. This way we will also learn about or own origins, says Jonathan Tan.
Students will analyse images taken in a variety of wavelengths of light, from radio to x-ray, by telescopes on the ground, in the air and in space. The scientists will provide a background to the research and instructions for analysis of the images. Each team of students will explore their own regions of the galaxy targeting particular interstellar clouds.
– This project is a great opportunity for us. When working with kids we usually focus on them learning while having fun, but in this case the main goal is that they actually will discover new things that are useful for us in our research, says Rubén Fedriani.