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Paper: Project PANOPTES: A Student Led Search for Exoplanets from Your Backyard
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 217
Authors: Krishnamoorthy, P.; Walawender, J.; Gee, W. T.; Guyon, O.
Abstract: PANOPTES is a citizen science project that builds and operates a world-wide network of small low-cost robotic cameras to detect transiting exoplanets. PANOPTES is designed to be built by citizen scientists and students and subsequently deployed at multiple sites. This provides a continuous wide field coverage of the sky, targeting relatively bright and nearby stars. The data from all units are analysed and combined across the network for increased sensitivity and coverage. All aspects of the project are open source, from the hardware build, the software used to control the unit, the software used to process the raw data, to the raw data and the final data products. The PANOPTES community currently spans the world, from the founding members in Hawai'i to designers, builders and scientists in Europe, Australia, North and South America, and Asia. There are currently 26 PANOPTES units in various stages of build/deployment/operation across the world. Being a multifaceted project in terms of requiring a wide range of skillsets, such as building hardware, software to control the unit, data analysis, follow up science study and as an educational tool for schools, the project benefits from having diverse community participation. As part of collaborative efforts, we have established an online forum for the PANOPTES community. The forum serves as a platform for everyone involved in PANOPTES to discuss with each other, to help troubleshoot during the build and deployment of a unit, and to provide feedback in improving the design. In this paper, we will give an overview of the project, it's reach so far, student experiences and opportunities, with a focus on collaborations with schools, how to access the PANOPTES raw data and data products, and how you can also play a role in finding new transiting exoplanets.
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