May Zooniverse Newsletter

signature of Dorrit Hoffleit from a notebook
Dorrit Hoffleit signature (pheadra2512)

Hi everyone!

Sam and Nico here, the Zooniverse Star Notes project coordinators. First, we hope that you are all staying safe and healthy. We’re immensely thankful to all of our volunteers. These are stressful times and we hope that this project can provide some community right now, especially when we’re separated from others. We have certainly seen an uptick in our transcriptions during the last 2 months. Last week alone, we had over 17,800 classifications. We also reached a milestone of 3,000 registered volunteers! We’re thankful for the people spending their time at home with this project. 

PBS has started a new video series called Unladylike 2020, in which they will be releasing 26 short films profiling diverse and little-known American women from the 20th century to the present. Williamina Fleming was featured recently, and the short documentary does an excellent job of showing her life and work. 

Recently, we added another astronomer to the Star Notes project: Dorrit Hoffleit. Hoffleit (1907-2007) was an astronomer known for her work on variable stars. She worked at the Harvard College Observatory and earned a PhD in astronomy from Radcliffe College in 1938. She was hired as an astronomer at Harvard, and later worked at Yale. She passed away a month after celebrating her 100th birthday, and you can read her American Astronomical Society obituary here

We also heard from a PhD student at King’s College Department of Digital Humanities who is doing research on developing sustainable digital communities from crowdsourcing projects. He created a survey for crowdsourcing project volunteers to share their thoughts on motivation, training, and communication with these Zooniverse-based projects. You can click here to learn more about the research that Andrew is doing. If you’re interested in helping him with his research, you can find the survey here.  Our dedicated volunteers are continuing to point out interesting finds in the notebooks and posting questions on the Talk boards. If anyone is using Star Notes for at-home science education, we’d love to hear from you. As always, if you have any questions for us, or if there’s anything that we can do to help, you can contact us or find us over on the Talk boards.