Episode 96: How Can You Help NASA to do Astronomy?

Meet the Expert: Dr. Marc Kuchner, Citizen Science Officer for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Dr. Marc Kuchner

Marc Kuchner is an astrophysicist and the Citizen Science Officer for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. His job is to foster citizen science at NASA; he oversees a portfolio of roughly 25 NASA-funded citizen science projects, reaching more than a million volunteers. He also serves as the principal investigator of the Zooniverse citizen science projects Disk Detective and Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 which search for new planet-forming disks, brown dwarfs and planets using data from NASA’s WISE mission.

Besides citizen science, Kuchner is known for work on imaging of disks and exoplanets, for which he received an early career achievement award from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics in 2009. Together with Wesley Traub, he invented the band-limited coronagraph, a design to be used on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He is also known for his novel supercomputer models of planet-disk interactions and for developing the ideas of ocean planets and carbon planets.


NASA Citizen Science WEBSITE 

Disk Detectives:  https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/ssilverberg/disk-detective

Backyard Worlds Planet 9:  https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/marckuchner/backyard-worlds-planet-9


Challenge:  Pick one of the NASA programs above and give it a try!

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Beyond book by Miranda Paul


Highlighted book for this episode! 

Beyond: Discoveries from the Outer Reaches of Space 
by Miranda Paul (Author), Sija Hong (Illustrator)








Book List: 

How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure by John Rocco

The Hubble Space Telescope: Our Eye on the Universe by Terence Dickinson and Tracy Read

Exoplanets by Seymour Simon

Exploring Exoplanets by Deborah Kops

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