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Citizen Science

Using the collective observational insights of the general public, citizen science opens the door to unique research with Rubin Observatory and engages the public in cutting edge science. Rubin Observatory is facilitating crowd science projects by providing a pipeline directly from the Rubin Science Platform to the Zooniverse, a popular citizen science platform. Our team does not directly manage individual projects—our goal is to support scientists in successfully running their own projects using this pipeline, associated documentation, and support from our team and the Zooniverse. We’re here to help you!

If you are a volunteer and are looking to get involved in Rubin projects - check out these resources and projects!

For scientists interested in becoming a future project lead of a project, our pipeline is still under development and we welcome your insights and suggestions. We have a recorded demonstration of the basic version of our pipeline below.

Please check back soon as we further develop resources here, fill out our interest form and reach out to us at


How to use the pipeline?

You can check out our recorded demo of the pipeline now and we will release a Principal Investigator (PI) Guide with all the details soon - Stay tuned!

We hope to reduce the challenges of starting and maintaining a project for our project leads by reducing the "learning curve" of creating and managing a project; supporting data management, storage and security; and facilitating engagement with the public.

Who will be able to become a PI/Project lead?

Anyone with Rubin data rights! Our pipeline is designed to be run via the Rubin science platform and anyone with data access can use it. We also have advice and support for navigating the sharing of data with the public.

I have an idea now, what can I do to prepare?

Great! Please fill out our interest survey and indicate you’d like to be an early tester. You can get started on designing and mocking up your project as we all eagerly await Rubin observations.

What’s the timeline?

The Rubin timeline is available here with first light expected in early 2025 and the start of science operations in late 2025. Before then, we invite you to design and test a project (fill out our interest survey) and check back here for updates and more information.

Our partnership with Zooniverse

We knew that public participation in science would be a huge part of Rubin Observatory's success, so we partnered with Zooniverse, the largest and most popular platform where everyone can get involved. With our input, the team at Zooniverse has made it easy for researchers to build projects that use Rubin data. That means there are lots of Rubin science projects for you to get involved with, and your help will contribute to cutting-edge astronomy and astrophysics discoveries!

Zooniverse is more than a work space—it’s a community. Ask questions or have conversations about the work you’re doing together and participate at any level that’s comfortable for you. Each project gives you the information and guidance you need to make a meaningful contribution, no prior training required. Give it a try, and have fun!