Petri at a presentation on exoplanets that he made to the Riihimäki Astronomical Association in Finland.
Petri also reviews telescopes in his spare time. This image appeared with one of his reviews. Image credit: Nanna Salonen

What motivated you to volunteer as a NASA citizen scientist? How did you learn about NASA citizen science?

I remember as a child looking at stars from a pile of snow. My dream job was to be an astronomy professor. As an adult, I joined the local astronomical society and read everything to do with astronomy. When I bought an eVscope telescope, I got involved in citizen science projects. I have enjoyed being pulled into this work by my telescope!

What do you do when you’re not doing science with NASA? Tell us about your

In my professional life, I work as an IT manager for a volunteer association. I have also been the owner of an IT company. My hobbies include hunting, sports (I enjoy various forms of skiing), nature activities, and going to the gym. I also run a local astronomical society.

What have you learned about the process of science from your time on NASA citizen science projects?

I’ve learned a lot about the observations of exoplanets and how data are collected and processed.

Petri at a presentation on exoplanets that he made to the Riihimäki Astronomical Association in Finland. Image credit: Nanna Salonen

Which peer-reviewed research publications have you contributed to through your citizen science work? What was your role in the research and writing process?

I’ve been named as a co-author on two papers so far. The first was titled “Utilizing a Global Network of Telescopes to Update the Ephemeris for the Highly Eccentric Planet HD 80606 b and to Ensure the Efficient Scheduling of JWST” and was published in 2022 in The Astronomical Journal.

The second was titled “A 16 hr Transit of Kepler-167 e Observed by the Ground-based Unistellar Telescope Network” and was also published in 2022 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

In both projects, I was involved in making observations that were used in the work. In addition, I was involved in writing the articles.

What are your favorite NASA citizen science projects to work on, and why?

The Unistellar Network Investigating TESS Exoplanets or UNITE project (TESS is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite). I love observing exoplanets, and I want to help in their research.

What have you discovered or learned as a NASA citizen scientist?

I’ve made lots of new friends around the world. I have also learned many new things from doing research. Overall, my image of the world has grown.

What advice would you give to others who might want to volunteer with NASA citizen science?

Feel free to join. When you get tired of taking pretty pictures of stars, you can join a citizen science project and make observations that have scientific value.

Who have you met during your NASA citizen science work who inspires you?

Dr. Tom Esposito and Dr. Franck Marchis have helped get me hooked on citizen science. They have developed a great system for the project. They have also answered all of my questions.

How much time do you spend on NASA citizen science projects?

Whenever possible. I invest every clear night in astronomy.