Project Details

A field of stars in the Cygnus constellation. Online scientists record the brightness of those stars every thirty minutes to search for transiting planets.


Enlists volunteers to pursue scientific research.

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @the_zooniverse

  • Community Engagement
  • Data
  • Internet
  • Open Source

The web is providing us with new ways to organise ourselves, to come together to share ideas and insights from professionals and avid amateurs. As the digital world generates ever more data, so these kinds of alliances will be increasingly important to allow us to cope. Zooniverse is a prime example of the kind of collaborative innovation we will need.

Zooniverse is the internet’s largest, most popular and successful citizen science platform, a place where professional scientists can enlist the help of hundreds of thousands of volunteers to pursue real scientific research.

The site has gathered a global army of citizen scientists to help with research: about 842,550 people are taking part worldwide. Three large scale projects have been completed and 15 are in progress. One project to map the surface of Mars involved 70,000 people classifying more than three million images.

The Zooniverse model – an alliance between amateur volunteers and professionals – creates benefits all round. By enlisting thousands of willing helpers, scientists engulfed by a flood of data get their research done more quickly. The enthusiastic volunteers also learn from being deeply engaged in real scientific research.

Image courtesy of Zooniverse

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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