Panoptic Astronomical Networked Observatories for a Public Transiting Exoplanets Survey
A citizen science project that aims to make it easy for anyone to build a low cost, robotic telescope that can be used to detect transiting exoplanets.
Due to the simplicity and low cost a PANOPTES "unit" can be built quickly and easily by students or amateur scientists. PANOPTES is designed from the ground up to be a citizen science project which will involve the public in all aspects of the science, from data acquisition to reduction. An entire exoplanet finding telescope can be built for about $5000 USD.
The philosophy behind the PANOPTES hardware and software design is to use as many commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts as possible as these are generally inexpensive and easily acquired. In addition, the PANOPTES design is kept as simple as possible as this makes the build process easier and means that the final product is more reliable.
The PANOPTES community spans the world, from the founding members in Hawai'i to designers, builders and scientists in Europe, Australia, and North and South America. We're looking forward to our members in Africa and Asia! We use a variety of means to communicate, including a Google Group for announcements and a forum for discussions.