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The Planet Pipeline: enabling data mining and citizen science with Hubble images of the Solar System

Max Mutchler, Michael H. Wong, Justin Higgins, Alberto Conti, Susana Deustua, Pamela L. Gay, Daniel Golombek, John Grunsfeld, Sean McKenna

categorizing solar system objects

In 15 years of service, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) obtained over 10,000 frames of Solar System data. Since standard data reduction pipelines are typically not optimized for moving- target data, our "planet pipeline" will uniformly reprocess and catalog this WFPC2 image collection to make it more immediately science-ready. Some of our processing steps will utilize citizen scientists to perform visual inspections. Our corresponding database will enable robust queries which are more specific to planetary science, helping archival researchers quickly find and utilize the prepared images within our collection for a wide range of scientific analyses. We welcome suggestions (especially from veteran WFPC2 users) on the optimal treatment and organization of this data collection, and also to identify a broad range of analyses that might only be possible with visual inspections by citizen scientists.

Support for HST/AR program 12142 was provided by NASA through a grant from STScI, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

The Full Abstract for paper given at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011 gives a good summary of the project.

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