The goal of the mission is to better understand dark energy, which is causing the universe to expand at an accelerated rate.

The results delivered by the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment would not have been possible without the help of over 10,000 amateur astronomer.

The volunteers contribute online to a project called Dark Energy Explorers with little more than a phone or a computer and a willingness to help.

This will allow them to explore the mysteries of the universe and help them learn more about dark energy.

The goal of the project is to build the most extensive 3D map of the universe, focusing on the early universe to measure rates of expansion and find clues about dark energy.

The operators of the HETDEX project hope to scale up the project which started in February of 2021. The survey has so far identified 247,000 galaxies, which is just one-tenth of the total number of galaxies it is projected to uncover in the patch of sky.

The UT Austin professor of astronomy HETDEX said in a statement that they need more people. We'll be there in the next year if we can get 100,000 people to volunteer.

Volunteers 'swipe right' on a cosmic Tinder

The Dark Energy Explorers volunteers can use the Zooniverse platform on their mobile device. Users can choose Dark Energy Explorers from a list of projects if they create a free account with Zooniverse.

The Dark Energy Explorers look at images of the stars and choose if they represent a nearby or distant one. They start a separate process in which they decide if an image has a galaxy or random noise.

The volunteers of the Dark Energy Explorer are the first humans to see a new world. The amateur scientists look at the images and think they are from a dating app.

Lindsay House is a graduate student at the University of Texas Austin.

A panel of images of galaxies from the Dark Energy Explorers project.

Humans, even if they aren't astronomers, can be better than machines at picking out true galaxies from images like these in the Dark Energy Explorers project. (Image credit: University of Texas)

Despite the fact that dark energy accounts for 70% of the universe's total energy and matter, scientists don't know much about what else it does.

The dynamics of dark energy can be better understood by studying the way ancient galaxies race differently than each other.

Astronomers need a huge sample of distant galaxies to look at dark energy. This gigantic catalog of ancient galaxies is exactly what HETDEX wants to build.

The Dark Energy Explorers program allows amateur scientists to focus on more difficult identifications, which will allow them to reduce the time they spend identifying the universe.

Humans have proved that they are better at distinguishing between noise and light than computers.

The human eye is superior to the computer code we've tried to write. We were skeptical at first, but we were pleasantly surprised by the accuracy.

Almost 4 million volunteers have been used to identify the near quarter- million galaxies. The accuracy of the process is improved by the fact that each candidate is reviewed by 15 people.

In the December edition of Nature, the team's research is detailed.

To learn more about how to participate in the HETDEX project, you can visit the Zooniverse website, or download the app for your mobile device.

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