Spectra Police


The first Citizen Science project on Stellar Spectroscopy

Do you love watching the stars? Do you want to know about them through real hands-on experience? Do you want to feel that stars are talking to you? Then join SPECTRA POLICE project and read the language of stars using real data. Contribute in real astronomy research by becoming a stellar inspector, guided by researchers and experts in stellar spectroscopy.

Spectra Police


How do we know what stars are made up of? Any curious mind who loves to watch the stars usually thinks about this question sometime in life. The true nature of stars remained a mystery for centuries. However, through years of hard work we presently do have the tool using which we can actually study and understand the stars.

That tool is spectroscopy. Stellar spectroscopy — the study of spectra of stars — has emerged to become the primary tool for understanding the physical properties, composition and evolution of stars. It is therefore the key to read the language of stars and understand their hidden secrets. We do not have to visit the stars or bring back stellar material into the lab; we can diagnose what they are made of and how they shine purely by gathering light and dispersing it into a spectrum.

The development of astronomy, technology and space science in the past decades have provided an excellent opportunity to look into innumerable stars, otherwise unknown, and gather their information for further study. Hence, in current decades a large amount of spectroscopic data is obtained for numerous stars almost every day across the globe. And professionals who study and analyze these data are ‘stellar astronomers’. Several astronomers devote their entire career in better understanding the stellar properties obtained through spectroscopy.

Presently, the amount of data is becoming truly immense. With a handful of professional astronomers working on stellar spectroscopy around the world, it is now becoming almost impossible to handle such mountainous amount of data. Hence, a need to develop one citizen-powered project for looking into such data was aptly felt by the PhD scholar Mr. Gourav Banerjee and Mr. Suman Bhattacharyya while working in stellar spectroscopy at the CHRIST (Deemed to be University). Driven by the thought, they came out with creating the first Citizen Science project on Stellar Spectroscopy: SPECTRA POLICE.

Project In-Charge

Gourav Banerjee

Project Co-ordinator

Suman Bhattacharyya


How can one contribute in real research by joining SPECTRA POLICE?

A coursework containing 6 online theory cum practical classes (weekly one class usually) are conducted for a batch of selected participants. This coursework is taken by experienced research scholars in the field of stellar spectroscopy and are actively involved in different professional international projects. The coursework is intended to provide basic idea and concepts about spectra of stars, how to handle such real spectra, how to perform relevant literature survey, data compilation tasks required for real data analysis.

After the coursework, under the leadership of a group of professional researchers, experienced physics teachers and citizen scientists, participants do get a wonderful opportunity to handle real spectra of stars.

Project outcome:

Data handling in proper way done by citizen scientists in this project will become an important contribution in the field of real astronomy research. The data provided by the participants will help professional researchers and astronomers in doing actual research and better understand several physical parameters of stars.

Project duration: 6-7 months.

Who can join?

Any astronomy enthusiast who has completed Xth Standard level from any recognized board and have the basic science background till Xth Standard. Age/ Nationality/ Any other qualification are not a bar.


A laptop/ desktop having internet connectivity. Basic knowledge of MS Word and MS Excel will be preferred. Moreover, each participant is expected to devote a minimum of 4 hours per week time for the duration of the project.

Ability to work in a team.

How to join?

First phase of the project is running now. The date of starting the Second phase will be announced in due course. Any eligible candidate can then fill a form to participate in this project.

Registration form (not active now)

Coursework Schedule: Will be updated in the official Whatsapp group.
Note: Date and timing of the coursework may change in some emergency or unforeseen circumstances.