Space Apps embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. Sometimes projects are extremely collaborative; sometimes extremely relevant; sometimes widely applicable. Rarely does a project embody each of these qualities as completely as SkyWatch.
Built in 2014 at Space Apps Toronto, SkyWatch was developed in response to the Alert-Alert Challenge:
Although a typical clear night sky may seem relaxing, in reality it is always restless. Various phenomena are taking place unexpectedly around the clock in every part of the sky. News and information on these cosmic surprises are not announced in one place. Your challenge is to create a central place for information and visualizations of these sky phenomena. Brainstorm ways to follow the event in real time from the ground (keeping in mind that an event’s visibility could change depending on local weather and time of day). Once the event is announced, how does the news spread around the world? How can we make these astrophysical trends and events more visible?
The team started with this problem of how to spread the news and make it visible and dug in, unfolding ...