The Zooniverse is home to some of the most succesful and easy to get started citizen scientist projects. All you have to do is pick the project that most interests you, sign up and answer a few questions per picture(similiar to the question below for Galaxy Zoo:Hubble). The cumulative work of the volunteers is then translated into usable data even a few exciting discoveries.
The current projects include:
- Old Weather: Help scientists recover worldwide weather observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I.
- Moon Zoo: Explore the Moon in unprecedented detail using images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
- Galaxy Zoo: Hubble: Help astronomers figure out how galaxies form and evolve by classifying their shape.
- Solar Stormwatch:Help spot explosions on the Sun and track them across space to Earth. Your work will give astronauts an early warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way.
- Galaxy Zoo: Mergers: Help astronomers by trying to match a merger from SDSS with a simulation.
- Galaxy Zoo: Supernovae: Help us to catch an exploding star.
So if you find yourself with a few moments of downtime each day, rather than spending it planting digital corn on farmville check out any of the Zooniverse projects.
P.s. I think it’d be cool to see these projects adapted to work on the iphone or similiar platform.