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stellacotton
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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10 Jan 2006, 8:09 pm

http://stardustathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/

From Web Surfer To Stargazer
Not for everyone, certainly - but how cool is this? You can volunteer for training and assist NASA in looking for some 45 needles in a galactic haystack through an on line telescopic initiative slated to begin in March.

The Stardust spacecraft should land in Utah early Saturday, carrying in its hold a sprinkling of grains of interstellar dust scooped up during its seven-year mission. Researchers are seeking the public's help in pinpointing the submicroscopic bits of dust, leftovers from stellar explosions perhaps millions of years old, in photos they plan to place on the Web.

Researchers should begin posting in March the first of an anticipated 1.5 million microscopic images of the collector plate that Stardust used to snag the dust grains while it orbited our sun.

The hope is that keen-eyed participants in the [email protected] project can expedite the search for the estimated 45 interstellar dust grains Stardust is expected to have captured by helping sift through the hundreds of thousands of pictures of the roughly square-foot collector plate.

Users will have to prove their mettle before they are allowed to participate in the search. That includes undergoing some Web-based training, passing a test and registering before being allowed to use the virtual "microscope," the University of California, Berkeley researchers behind the project said. They unveiled the project Tuesday at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

They expect they will need 30,000 person hours to comb through all the images at least four times


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kevv729
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10 Jan 2006, 11:01 pm

Getting the comet dust back to earth will be something that could expand Our knowledge of Our Solar System.


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grayson
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11 Jan 2006, 4:37 am

Very neat! I preregistered.


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kevv729
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25 Jan 2006, 1:28 am

They got their star dust back on the 19th of January.


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stellacotton
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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25 Jan 2006, 3:52 am

kevv729 wrote:
They got their star dust back on the 19th of January.


No kidding?lol :wink:

15 Feb 2006 Begin scanning Stardust IS dust collector
1 Mar 2006 First image data available for searching
1 Oct 2006 Estimated completion date of search


_________________
?I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.?
-- Albert Einstein