Astronomers using the VERITAS telescopes to detect some of the highest-energy photons in the Universe need your help! These photons are gamma-rays that originate in astrophysical environments like the expanding blast waves thrown out by supernova explosions, or from powerful streams of material that flow from the cores of active galaxies at speeds close to that of light. Muons (a particle like an electron, only heavier) are a prominent background contaminant when observing very-high-energy gamma rays on earth. They leave a distinctive ring-like shape making them obvious to the human eye, but incomplete or truncated rings can appear very gamma-ray-like to automatic analysis algorithms. We need your help to identify camera images that contain muon rings so we can teach computers to better identify such images and efficiently filter out those pesky muons that are masquerading as gamma rays.
Find out more at Muon Hunters
Videos on youtube can be found here.
Here are copies of the new (2011) signs posted outside the FLWO Visitors Center close to the T1 telescope (click on the figures for full-size versions):
If you have any questions on astronomy or astrophysics in general please follow one of these links
- NASA - Ask an astrophysicist
- Ask an astrophysicist - specialising in cosmic-ray, gamma-ray and X-ray astrophysics
- Ask an astronomer
- McDonald's Observatory ask an astronomer
- Curious about astronomy ask an astronomer
- Cool cosmos ask an astronomer
- Ask an astronomer@ UCBerkely
- Lick Observatory ask an astronomer
- NRAO ask an astronomer
- Harvard CfA resources for amateur astronomers
- Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy page