Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law.

The Vanishing & Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations (VASCO) project we search for rare and curious astronomical objects that may have vanished or appeared in our sky. What could make an object vanish entirely or appear out of nothing? The VASCO project, led by Beatriz Villarroel (Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics, Stockholm University), has gathered a team of ~40 specialists from different academic backgrounds, amateur astronomers and citizen scientists to answer this exciting question. The scale of the large astronomical surveys we work with pose a big data challenge. We have therefore created a citizen science project. We expect the project to yield many interesting findings over time , maybe even some anomalous objects and events — could aliens be responsible for any of those?Together with our followers, we aim to tackle some of the most exciting mysteries of our Universe. Join us on our journey.

In 2021, B. Villarroel received L’Oreal-UNESCO’s For Women in Science prize in Sweden for the VASCO project. In 2022, she also received the L’Oreal-UNESCO’s For Women in Science “International Rising Talents” prizes, that every second year is given to the fifteen most promising early-career scientists world-wide among all national/regional winners around the globe.
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