So long and thanks for all the… Processing Power!
TheSkyNet was ICRAR’s first ever citizen science project. Since then, we’ve launched (and concluded) Galaxy Explorers, and will soon be launching beta testing for our latest citizen science program, Astro Quest.
Using the distributed computing power of thousands of computers located around the world, theSkyNet’s ‘SourceFinder’ project used a DuChamp algorithm to automatically tell the difference between background noise and real radio sources in observations from a radio telescope. The project proved that distributed computing is a real solution for processing large volumes of radio astronomy data and may help researchers maximise science returns from the next generation radio telescopes like the Square Kilometre Array.
After SourceFinder, we launched another citizen science project on theSkyNet platform. Named ‘POGS’, it combined data from Pan-STARRS1 (a telescope at Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii) with space-based telescopes, GALEX and WISE to generate a multi-wavelength galaxy atlas of the nearby Universe.
The results of this astronomically awesome distributed computing effort has allowed our researchers to measure the physical parameters (such as stellar mass, surface density and star formation rate) of 107, 985 galaxies! The results of this work will be published soon, so keep an eye on the ICRAR website for details (www.icrar.org).
As well as processing data for our astronomers, theSkyNet has helped us understand how to involve the community in our work through a citizen science project. We’ve had a great time with it and as we wrap this one up, we’d like to thank theSkyNet community for your time, enthusiasm, and commitment to science. We hope to have you on board for Astro Quest — keep an eye out for it!
Thank you from everyone that's worked on theSkyNet at ICRAR.
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