Many of the Planet Hunters team were at the American Astronomical Society’s 218th meeting in Boston earlier this week. The team contributions to the meeting included a poster led by John Brewer on the new exoplanet candidates spotted by you and an epic review talk by Debra Fischer titled “From Hot Jupiters to Habitable Worlds.” In her talk, Debra discussed Planet Hunters showing some of our discoveries as well as mentioning the names of several Planet Hunters users.
In her talk titled “The Status of Kepler’s Search for Earth-size Planets,” Kepler team member Natalie Batalha also mentioned Planet Hunters and the Planetometer (which had already hit 3 million classifications) was shown on the big screen during her talk.
But the most fun part of the meeting was that Planet Hunters and other Zooniverse scientists and volunteers (Alice Sheppard, aka @penguingalaxy) got together to talk science, citizen science, and how to learn more about the Universe with you help!
Looking for Gems in Talk
I wanted to talk a bit more about the Talk collections. There is a treasure trove of information sitting in all of the unique and interesting collections you are all making in Talk. We made our first list of planet candidates using the classifications you’ve all made in the classify interface (see John’s post). We want to start digging into your great Talk collections and find the interesting gems in there.
We have a visiting student from France, Thibault Sartori from École normale supérieure. One of his projects is going to be taking a look at all the great Talk collections you made. He will be looking for interesting transits, small radii-planets, and multi-planet system that may not be extracted from the classify interface. If you have a collection of interesting transits or potentially new multi-planet systems, we’d like if you can add a #phtransits (for single planet systems) and #phmulti (if you have collections of multiplanet systems) to your collections. We’ll search the Talk database for collections with these keywords and extract their entries after Sunday.
We’re also willing to feature a collection on the Talk page, so if you have something cool you want the rest of the community to see or what help with adding new objects, tweet, email, or post it on facebook and we’ll feature the collection on the front page. We can’t wait to see what’s in your collections, and we’ll keep you posted on Thibault’s progress and what we find on the blog.
PS. I was observing in Chile at La Silla two weeks ago, and wanted to share some pictures of the telescopes. I was using the NTT the kinda of squarish telescope in the back left which has the clouds behind it
Our two new community collaboration websites, Milky Way Talk and Planet Hunters Talk, had some updates this week. We thought it was worth going over them in this blog post. We’ve had a lot of feedback about Talk and are working to implement the most-requested features.
The biggest difference you’ll see when logging into Talk is that your discussions are now easier to manage and track. A new, large box on the main page shows all the new and updated discussions since your last login. You can refine these using the two drop-down boxes at the top of this section. You can chose to show discussions from the last 24 hours, the last week, or since any date using a pop-up calendar. You can also chose to only see discussions that you are a part of, which should help you keep track of your conversations.
In addition to these changes, you’ll also find a lot more metadata around the discussions, telling you who last posted, how many people are taking part, and who started the discussion, where relevant. Users within these discussions are now highlighted if they are part of the development team or the science team. This is something a lot of you asked for.
The other item that has been changed with this Talk update is pagination. There are now easy-to-use buttons on the discussions, collections and objects on the front page. These mean that you can browse back through time and see more than just the most recent items. As Talk has grown more popular, this feature has become more necessary.
Another change to the front page is that we now show the most-recent items by default, and not the trending items. You can still see the trending items by clicking the link at the top. Users told us they preferred to see recent activity initially so we made the change. Similarly, the ‘trending keywords’ list now appears on the front page at all times.
On Planet Hunters Talk, when you’re viewing a light curve, Kepler Planet Candidates are now identified as a “Kepler Favorite”.
Finally, page titles are now meaningful. This means that if you bookmark or share a link, you’ll remember why. Collections are named and objects will be title dusing their Zooniverse ID (e.g. APH….). Several of you have also noted our lack of a favicon (the little icon next to the URL in your browser bar). This is coming shortly as well.
There are more changes planned for Talk, but these significant updates to the front page were worth noting on the blog. For example, we plan to start integrating social media links into the Talk sites, along with more updates as time goes by. Talk continues to evolve and we welcome feedback. Post comments and suggestions on the Feature Requests Thread or Board Upgrades thread on Talk or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.