No. 41 - 2011: You Can Participate in Astronomy Research Projects You Can Participate in Astronomy Research Projects Finding Exoplanets: The graph in this illustration shows how the light we see from a star decreases slightly when one of its planets crosses the star’s disk. Planet hunters sometimes use this transit technique to find exoplanets. Art by Karen Teramura. You don't have to be a professional astronomer, or even own a telescope, to participate in a myriad of astronomy research projects. These days, a computer and an Internet connection are all you need.
Sky Map for Android What is Sky Map? Google Sky Map turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a window on the night sky. It will identify objects that appear in the sky and allow users to search for them. How can I get Sky Map? The app is available for download at the Google Play. Where is Sky Map be available? Microwork Microwork is a series of small tasks which together comprise a large unified project, and are completed by many people over the Internet.   Microwork is considered the smallest unit of work in a virtual assembly line.  It is most often used to describe tasks for which no efficient algorithm has been devised, and require human intelligence to complete reliably. The term was developed in 2008 by Leila Chirayath Janah of Samasource.   Microtasking Microtasking is the process of splitting a job into its component microwork and distributing this work over the Internet.
NASA discovers portals (but don’t book your ticket yet) Madeleine L’Engle called them tesseracts. The Syfy channel calls them wormholes. Gamers call them portals. Whatever you call them, they are fictional doorways to faraway places: another planet in the solar system … another star in the galaxy … another restaurant where the service doesn’t suck quite so bad. But today they’re perhaps a little less fictional than yesterday. Sky Map Sky Map is a hand-held planetarium for your Android device. Use it to identify stars, planets, nebulae and more. Originally developed as Google Sky Map, it has now been donated and open sourced. Troubleshooting/FAQThe Map doesn't move/points in the wrong placeMake sure you haven't switched into manual mode.
Solver Develops Solution to Help Clean Up Remaining Oil From the 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster Boston, MA and Cordova, AK - November 7, 2007 - InnoCentive, the leader in prize-based Open Innovation sourcing, is helping to make a positive impact on Environmental Conservation by working with the Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) and other conservation groups. OSRI has posted 3 Challenges on the InnoCentive website, all dealing with oil spill recovery issues. The first of these challenges was solved last week by an oil industry outsider who used his expertise in the concrete industry to come up with the winning solution. John Davis, an InnoCentive Solver from the Central United States, was awarded $20,000 for his creative solution. s WMAP Science Team Awarded 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize NASA's WMAP Science Team Awarded 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, known as WMAP, transformed the science of cosmology by establishing the age, geometry, and contents of the universe to astonishing precision. On June 20, the Gruber Foundation recognized this accomplishment by awarding its 2012 Cosmology Prize to WMAP principal investigator Charles L. Bennett at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the science team he led. "It is tremendously exciting to be recognized with the Gruber Cosmology Prize," said Bennett. "I have been very fortunate to work with the talented and fine people of the WMAP team, and I am particularly delighted that our entire science team has been honored with this prestigious award."
Sun for All Project download poster The project “Sun for all”, funded by Ciência Viva (2005 117/ 18) aims to promote science in general and astronomy in particular, among students. The project rests on the asset of over 30000 Sun images (spectroheliograms) that are kept in the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra, as a result of a work of over 80 years of daily solar observations that started in 1926. Crowdsourcing improves predictive texting - tech - 25 February 2012 SMARTPHONES may soon get a lot better at finishing your sentences for you - with the help of words and phrases gleaned from crowdsourcing. The software packages in today's phones often struggle with texts and voice commands if a user attempts words or phrases that aren't included in the phone's database. To see if the crowd could help, Keith Vertanen of Montana Tech in Butte and Per Ola Kristensson at the University of St Andrews, UK, called upon workers of the Amazon Mechanical Turk. The plan was to try and improve a predictive system used in Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, which help disabled people to communicate by painstakingly typing out words interpreted from their muscle twitches or blinks. The researchers paid 298 Mechanical Turk workers to imagine phrases they might need if they had motor neuron disease or cerebral palsy.
Bad Astronomy Well now, this is an interesting discovery: astronomers have found what looks like a "super-Earth" – a planet more massive than Earth but still smaller than a gas giant – orbiting a nearby star at the right distance to have liquid water on it! Given that, it might – might – be Earthlike. This is pretty cool news. We’ve found planets like this before, but not very many! And it gets niftier: the planet has at least five siblings, all of which orbit its star closer than it does. Now let me be clear: this is a planet candidate; it has not yet been confirmed.
Global Hands-On Universe: Software SalsaJ is free, student-friendly software developed specifically for the EU-HOU project. SalsaJ is designed to be easy to install and use. It allows students to display, analyse, and explore real astronomical images and other data in the same way that professional astronomers do, making the same kind of discoveries that lead to true excitement about science. A number of exercises have developed complete with data to download and detailed instructions for use.