On February 26th, the REINFORCE project is hosting a webinar on the use of citizen science to help KM3NeTs scientists search for neutrinos: it’s open to all citizen scientists (even prospective ones), and physics and marine researchers who are curious to understand the ways in which citizen science can help the advance of ground-breaking research.


Deep into the waters of the Mediterranean sea, the KM3NeT is a multi-site research infrastructure that hosts a next generation neutrino telescope: with thousands of optical sensors, it detects the faint flashes of light that derive from the collisions of neutrinos with our planet. However, it also register the noise from other environmental events, such as the light from bioluminescent organisms and the calls of sea mammals: these elements pose an obstacle in the search for the particles. To make the neutrino detection algorithms more efficient, researchers will rely on citizen scientists on the Zooniverse platform: they will classify noise types and identify the frequency and lenght of noise signals.

Citizens will be invited to classify in a systematic way the various types of waveforms observed. Furthermore, in order to involve in this activity also visually-impaired citizen scientists, the “ears” of the KM3NeT neutrino telescope will also be exploited by utilising the time sequences of the acoustical signals detected. Both sound and visual data for the bioluminescence and the acoustic signals will be produced.

The work of citizen scientists will be used to train machine learning algorithms, that will then be able to automatically identify and classify the noise sources with greater precision. It’s also an opportunity for science enthusiasts and curious citizens to see – or hear – more about the deep and unexplored marine environment.



Image: Copyright Edward Berbee/Nikhef (Via KM3NeT)