theSkyNet POGS - the PS1 Optical Galaxy Survey
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theSkyNet POGS project Update
Hi All,

We’re planning an upgrade for POGS in the next few months that will see us add more calculations to the suite already conducted on each galaxy image, add more data types (such as higher resolution images from the WISE telescope, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/main/, which collects infrared light) and much, much more.

There are some big changes, and some smaller ones, included in the upgrade. We’ve given a short summary of everything below, but if you’d like any more specific detail or have questions then please let us know.

As part of the upgrades we intend to run some simulated galaxies through the upgraded POGS code as a check on the accuracy of our the data processing. These 'fake' galaxy images are created by supercomputers as part of a large cosmological simulation http://www.illustris-project.org. Once the simulated galaxies are processed by the upgraded POGS ‘spectral energy distribution’ fit code, we can compare the results to the known properties used when creating the fake (but highly realistic) galaxies to confirm the upgraded code works as expected and is producing accurate science results for the astronomers.

We’re also upgrading the data retrieval pipeline, continuing to get enhanced infrared images from the WISE telescope for all galaxies that have already been processed, as well as some more galaxy data from other new sources. This new data will broaden our results on the galaxies that have been already processed - helping the astronomers to see more of the bigger picture, so to speak.

Kevin and the team will also upgrade the input data processing pipeline as well. This will include improving the pre-processing of input images to enhance their usefulness in especially faint regions (like the outer parts of a galaxy). A technique called adaptive smoothing will be used to achieve this result without blurring of bright regions. They will also develop ‘parameter prior cubes’, sets of position-dependent bracketing parameter values that should be used in SED fitting calculations. You can think of them as educated guesses for each parameter. This will stop us calculating every possible combination of parameters on every galaxy — saving time and resources. This also means we will be changing the credit system from the current points-per-pixel based model, as with ‘priors’ all pixels are no longer equal. We will let you know when the credit change will occur and will do our best to make sure it’s equitable and results in approximately the same amount of credit you currently earn.

We will also be upgrading the output processing to produce better results images. This will include things like stellar masking (from catalogs, or directly from the images) to remove foreground stars from the calculations, and we also start using a code called ‘galfit’ (http://users.obs.carnegiescience.edu/peng/work/galfit/galfit.html) to give a mass surface density of the galaxies (a new calculation) and also try another code called ‘CIGALE’ (http://cigale.lam.fr/) and others on the data.

All of this comes together to mean better science output from POGS - something we’re really keen on and we hope you are too!

--TheSkyNet Team
8 Dec 2014, 2:47:51 UTC · Comment


Here come the Galaxies
To misquote the Aussie band "Rogue Traders"

Here come the galaxies, here come the galaxies

Another 8000 loaded ready to be processed.
20 Nov 2014, 4:42:57 UTC · Comment


Pause in work-units
We'll be halting the WUs shortly whilst I upgrade the servers and the software. 4 Nov 2014, 2:54:02 UTC · Comment


Our 50,000th Galaxy
We've designed a special trophy for those who process our 50,000th galaxy.

If you want to see the galaxy it is here.
23 Sep 2014, 9:19:34 UTC · Comment


TheSkyNet turns 3
Last Saturday (the 13th) was our third birthday. It really snuck up on us, we can't believe it's been three years already since our first members signed up! To celebrate we've created something special to share with you all.

Alex (Eckley) has created this amazing gigapixel mosaic of ALL the results you've helped create on theSkyNet POGS. He included results from over 45,000 galaxies (in fact we're processing the 50,000th galaxy this week!) Have an explore of the image, we recommend viewing at fullscreen.




This photomosaic is of the results from processing an image of M100 - a relatively nearby galaxy. This image is the 'sfr' result image, or star formation rate - how fast new stars are being born in different parts of the galaxy. The overall image is made up as a mosaic of results files from theSkyNet POGS, over the many different properties you help us work out for each galaxy.

This is such an impressive picture showing the incredible volume of results you've helped produce since theSkyNet began.

Thank you to each and every one of our members for their support, as always we can't do it without you.

We're off to explore this image a bit more, and to see if we can find the mini image of M100 within the mosaic!

-TheSkyNet Team
17 Sep 2014, 1:28:12 UTC · Comment


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