Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Study the skies with Green Lantern

To celebrate the release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘Green Lantern’ in UK cinemas on 17 June 2011, UK movie fans are being enlisted to help make new discoveries in space. A unique partnership between Warner Bros. Pictures UK and the Zooniverse Project at Oxford University is targeting fans of the ‘Green Lantern’ film to assist a set of citizen science projects which lets internet users analyse images generated by some of the world’s best telescopes.

Zooniverse users log in and use a simple set of tools to spot important features – for example the shape of galaxies, or the location of craters on the moon. Human contributors are crucial to the success of the projects, as they are able to perform the task of marking the features better than a computer could. The aggregate data from the massed ranks of budding amateur astronomers is then passed back to Oxford University research teams for analysis.

The Milky Way Project is the latest venture from the Zooniverse, which launched in December 2010. In it, users analyse photographs from the Spitzer Space Telescope, maintained by NASA, orbiting the earth. The particular feature that users are looking for in these is photographs are ‘bubbles’ produced by the formation of stars. They manifest in the images as green rings.

Warner Bros Pictures UK and social gaming developers Hide&Seek have created a special version of the Milky Way Project interface, where fans can engage in a special narrative featuring the characters from the ‘Green Lantern’ film.

Robert Simpson, researcher and developer at Oxford University and PI for the Milky Way Project said “We were absolutely delighted when Warner Bros UK approached us with news of their plans for the ‘Green Lantern’ film. Anything that gets people excited about space and drives attention to the Milky Way Project is something we’re very keen to support. We’ve had many instances where participants have made genuine scientific discoveries and we’re hopeful that some ‘Green Lantern’ fans will join that number.”

This partnership is the first time a UK film marketing campaign has engaged with a citizen science project.

The in-narrative version can currently be found on spitzer.deo-br.com
The GREEN LANTERN branded version of the Milky Way Project can be found at www.studytheskies.com
In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.
Green Lantern hits UK cinemas June 17, 2011
© 2010 Warner Bros.Ent. 2011

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