Citizen Scientists with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch are encouraged to take these gadgets, loaded with the Meteor Counter app, along while stargazing. Start the Meteor Counter, lie down in a safe dark place, and be alert for shooting stars. Every time you see a meteor, tap the piano-like key corresponding to its brightness. Keys on the left correspond to dim meteors, which are barely visible to the naked eye. Keys on the right denote "jaw-dropping" fireballs.
With each keytap, the Meteor Counter records critical data such as the time you saw the meteor, the meteor's magnitude and your location. Users can also turn on an optional voice recorder to capture your own description of events. Afterward, these data are automatically uploaded to NASA researchers for analysis.
- PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Bill Cooke
- SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office
- DATES: Ongoing
- PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
- COST: Free
- GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
- TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
- HOW TO JOIN: