Another good use of CPU time - Stardust@home!
Posted 18 May 2006 - 01:15 AM
Posted 22 June 2006 - 06:36 PM
May 18, 2006 - Interview with Stardust@Home director Andrew Westphal
-Includes a link to a video of the Stardust rocket launch in 1999 from onboard the rocket!
June 12, 2006 - Planetary Society update
-Features a nice picture of the Aerogel collector they are scanning.
A total of 12 aerogel tiles need to be fully scanned and processed before our the interstellar particle search can begin. Berkeley has a progress update schematic with color coded indicators for every tile in the collector.
>>>Click HERE for the current scan progress!<<<
Posted 16 July 2006 - 01:09 AM
We have scanned more than 10 aerogel tiles in the Cosmic Dust Lab in Houston and have recently written a computer program that checks the focus on each of the 40,000 focus movies we have so far. We've found that we needed to go back to rescan a few of the tiles. We've set ourselves a target of having 12 complete tiles (about 50,000 focus movies) ready to search before we open the Virtual Microscope. We also need to finish development of parts of the website that are critical to the stardust search and the volunteers’ involvement.
We are hoping to launch in the second half of July, if all goes well. As promised, we will send out one (and only one) e-mail announcement to our pre-registrants on the day we open registration and the Virtual Microscope for live searching. Stay tuned, and thank you again for your patience.
Posted 31 July 2006 - 11:17 PM
To participate, please point your browser at:
Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:32 PM
The real stuff is .... well .... REAL! Some of us spent all this year looking forward to this project, reading about it, seeing sample particle tracks from other missions, and taking the tutorial; but now we're doing it for REAL! Unlike the tutorial, there are no correct answers. The label you give each focus movie will actually help the Berkeley and Johnson Space Center teams know whether or not to examine it for themselves. You never know what to expect when the next movie loads, and you will always have the chance of being the first to discover a specific interstellar (IS) dust particle--the first known matter ever brought back to Earth from outside the solar system.
I highly recommend that anyone interested in this project read, not only the website, but the following three blogs from Project Director Andrew Westphal to help put you in the correct state of mind for this groundbreaking endeavor: Part One, Two, and Three.
Also very important is the forum for up-to-date FAQ information and fellow "dusters" sharing their experiences that you can learn from. Even though the Stardust team has already identified a few IS candidates, they're not yet sure how to extract them safely from the collector. Considering how rare and fragile these microscopic particles are, and considering what it cost to bring them to Earth, they might wait for the discovery of several more candidates before they start messing with these. Regardless, this project is going to continue for many more months until the whole collector is scanned because every single particle found will be extremely valuable.
Posted 22 November 2006 - 12:49 AM
I've scanned 195 real movies and 210 calibration movies (305 total) up to this point. My score is a perfect 210--I haven't missed a calibration movie yet. Unfortunately, I've only identified one potential track and it is a very poor candidate (but still the best thing I've seen so far). I'm currently ranked 6193 out of 19593 total participants.
I tend to emphasize quality over quantity and, thus, spend between 30 sec. and several minutes on each movie (unless it is an obvious calibration movie). Since I have dial-up and an otherwise slow computer, I couldn't really go faster if I wanted to. I have kept up a steady rate of 30 minutes of "stardusting" per day (inc. weekends) since I signed up over a month ago. My radio is a very helpful tool in my searching.
Posted 07 January 2007 - 02:13 AM
The Stardust team just added the certificates we're supposed to receive at varying points levels. I received a 50 and will very shortly be granted my 200. I might reach the 500 point level by the time I quit (see bottom paragraph).
I currently have a goal of viewing 1000 total focus movies before I end my involvement, but this depends on future project news and developments, of course. I expect that I should achieve that goal by March.
Posted 18 February 2007 - 04:58 PM
I take it no one else here is Stardusting?
Posted 18 February 2007 - 05:21 PM
2100 real movies viewed, with a score of 675 (676 calibration movies viewed). I haven't been keeping track of my hours though, but it's up there somewhere in the 40s or 50s.
Of the 13 events I flagged, 2 have been marked as probable inclusions (not extraterrestrial), and one is still listed as a possible interstellar dust particle, having passed cut one!
Posted 18 February 2007 - 06:31 PM
I have viewed 315 calibration movies in total with one missed. My score is currently 3531. Of the two real movies I've clicked on, one is still indeterminate (no one agreed with me) and one is a possible IDP (I was the 72nd person to agree).
Posted 18 June 2007 - 08:58 PM
I believe I'll take at least a week off from Stardust@Home to relax. It's become increasingly tedious in recent months with little news and progress for encouragement, but that's the nature of real scientific research. I can't quite bring myself to end my participation entirely, so these self-created milestones and breaks are certainly of help.
Posted 01 April 2010 - 12:23 PM
There are new data sets to go through, and new reports from the crew at Berkeley. It's a great way to kill time AND advance science.