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ISSUE 17 - June 2015

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The Aristarchus Campaigns: Collaboratively measuring the Solar System (page 23)
Jorge I. Zuluaga, Juan C. Figueroa

Citizen astronomy, lunar orbit, lunar distance, Moon calculations, speed of light, astronomical methods, astrometry, citizen science


Citizen astronomy has proven to be one of the most effective ways to actively involve amateur astronomers in real scientific endeavours. We present here the Aristarchus Campaigns, a citizen astronomy project intended to collaboratively reproduce historical astronomical observations. During the campaign amateur astronomers were invited to use simple optical instruments to gather data about some common astronomical phenomena. This data was used to calculate the value of well-known physical and astronomical quantities such as the speed of light and the distance to, and size of the Moon. We describe the project and the results of the first two Aristarchus Campaigns. We argue that this type of simple campaign may help to engage the public with astronomy in developing counties and prepare their astronomical communities to participate in high-impact observational campaigns.