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eVscope: Supporting Lucy Mission to Jupiter Trojans

18 Sep 2019, 18:03 UTC
eVscope: Supporting Lucy Mission to Jupiter Trojans
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Spreading scientific investigation beyond the research lab and astronomical observatory is what citizen science is all about. As we saw yesterday, projects like ExoClock are enlisting amateur volunteers to time exoplanet transits in support of the upcoming ARIEL mission. Also among such projects discussed at the ongoing EPSC-DPS joint meeting in Geneva is the eVscope digital telescope, a crowd-sourced effort from Unistellar that raised more than $3 million in its development under the direction of co-founder Franck Marchis (SETI Institute).
Here again we have a useful mission tie-in. The eVscope is designed to be a compact digital instrument that can be folded into what will become an extensive network of connected telescopes. The SETI Institute recently signed an agreement with Unistellar, which Marchis now serves as chief scientific officer, to make citizen astronomy a full-fledged effort that can contribute to the Lucy mission, which will launch in 2027 to the Jupiter Trojan asteroids.
One of the six asteroids targeted is Orus, but for each, learning the shape and precise size of the asteroid will increase the science return while helping mission engineers tune the exploration schedule. I mention Orus because we know so little about it — its shape ...

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