Archive

Posts Tagged ‘computer’

Press Release: Computers Beat Brainpower In Counting Stars


A team of University of Sydney astronomers has developed a new way to automatically classify huge numbers of astronomical objects, and to discover new, exotic ones almost as soon as they happen.

Massive torrents of raw data are now collected by telescopes on a daily basis creating an urgent need to massively accelerate the reliable classification of millions of stars and galaxies, and to quickly highlight objects that might be new discoveries or that have unusual properties.

“Next generation telescopes like the Square Kilometre Array will produce enough raw data to fill up 15 million iPods every day,” said Kitty Lo, lead author of the research published in The Astrophysical Journal.

“It will be too much for humans to sift through, and this is where computer classification comes in,” said Ms Lo.

Link To Full Story And Video

Orbital Physics Is Child’s Play With ‘Super Planet Crash’


This screenshot from the online game Super Planet Crash shows a six-planet system.

This screenshot from the online game Super Planet Crash shows a six-planet system.

A new game and online educational resources are offshoots of the open-source software package astronomers use to find planets beyond our solar system.

Super Planet Crash is a pretty simple game: players build their own planetary system, putting planets into orbit around a star and racking up points until they add a planet that destabilizes the whole system. Beneath the surface, however, this addictive little game is driven by highly sophisticated software code that astronomers use to find planets beyond our solar system (called exoplanets).

The release of Super Planet Crash (available online at http://www.stefanom.org/spc) follows the release of the latest version of Systemic Console, a scientific software package used to pull planet discoveries out of the reams of data acquired by telescopes such as the Automated Planet Finder (APF) at the University of California’s Lick Observatory. Developed at UC Santa Cruz, Systemic Console is integrated into the workflow of the APF, and is also widely used by astronomers to analyze data from other telescopes.

Link To Full Story

When A Black Hole Shreds A Star, A Bright Flare Tells The Story

February 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Computer simulation. Image by James Guillochon

Computer simulation. Image by James Guillochon

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz uses computer simulations to explore the universe’s most violent events, so when the first detailed observations of a star being ripped apart by a black hole were reported in 2012 (Gezari et al., Nature), he was eager to compare the data with his simulations. He was also highly skeptical of one of the published conclusions: that the disrupted star was a rare helium star.

“I was sure it was a normal hydrogen star and we were just not understanding what’s going on,” said Ramirez-Ruiz, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

In a paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal and available online at arXiv.org, Ramirez-Ruiz and his students explain what happens during the disruption of a normal sun-like star by a supermassive black hole, and they show why observers might fail to see evidence of the hydrogen in the star. First author and UCSC graduate student James Guillochon (now an Einstein Fellow at Harvard University) and undergraduate Haik Manukian worked with Ramirez-Ruiz to run a series of detailed computer simulations of encounters between stars and black holes.

Link To Full Story

U-M Space Weather Model Picked To Improve US Warning System

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

A University of Michigan space weather model beat out four other contenders for a spot in the national Space Weather Prediction Center’s forecasting toolbox.

It is the first time that computer models based on a firm understanding of physics have overtaken simpler, statistics-based models to predict magnetic disturbances due to space weather. The new model can also give information about where the effects of a geomagnetic storm will be weaker or stronger around Earth.

Space weather forecasts are important for protecting satellites, predicting when GPS signals become unreliable, and in the worst case, preventing far-reaching and long-term electrical power outages.

Link To Full Story

The Gaia Mission App, Ready Before The Launch

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Gaia, a satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA), is launched tomorrow, 19 December. It will take a census of a billion stars to create the most complete 3D map of the Milky Way ever done. Launch is planned to occur at 10.12 a.m. (local time in mainland Spain) from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana). Scientists and engineers from the University of Barcelona (UB) have remarkably collaborated in the mission.

A group of researchers from UB, the Barcelona Team, has developed the Gaia Mission App, which allows discovering scientific and technical details of the mission and keeps users updated on satellite’s operations from 19 December. App is available in English, Spanish and Catalan.

Gaia is considered ESA’s cornerstone mission not only for its ability to revolution future astrophysics —thanks to the unprecedented accuracy of its astrometric observations—, but also for the technological challenge it means. In addition, the project constitutes the maximum exponent of a technology that places Europe in a leading position in the field of astrometry.

Link To Full Story And App

Find Black Holes While You’re On The Bus

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

‘Radio Galaxy Zoo’, launching today, is a new ‘citizen science’ project that lets anyone become a cosmic explorer.

By matching galaxy images with radio images from CSIRO’s Australia Telescope, you can work out if a galaxy has a supermassive black hole.

“It takes about a minute to learn what to do,” said CSIRO’s Dr Julie Banfield, an Australian coordinator of the international project. “Then to actually work with the images takes only a few seconds each — perhaps a couple of minutes for the really tough ones. You just need match up a couple of pictures and look for what you think is the galaxy at their centre.”

Link To Full Story

TheSkyNet – T2 Is Born

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment

TheSkyNet is celebrating its two year anniversary today with the official launch of a new research project, as well as a range of improvements and new features to make contributing to astronomical research at home more enjoyable, and even easier.

Launched on September 13th 2011, theSkyNet is a community computing project dedicated to astronomy, initiated by the International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth, Western Australia. By using the idle processing power of thousands of computers connected to the Internet, theSkyNet simulates a powerful single machine and processes data collected by telescopes around the world.

Today theSkyNet launches T2 – Transform 2 – a new version of its website that brings new citizen science and membership features. At theskynet.org members can view the credits they’ve earned by processing data, trophies they’ve been awarded as part of their contribution, the actual galaxies they’ve processed data from and can join alliances to process together.

Link To Full Story.