TheSkyNet set to conquer more of our universe

May 03, 2012

In its ever-expanding quest to process astronomy data and discover much more of our Universe, theSkyNet has joined forces with the Pan-STARRS1 Science Consortium (PS1SC) to probe other galaxies beyond our own Milky Way.

The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) – home of theSkyNet – has signed an agreement with the PS1SC to use donated computing resources to process the new telescope's images over 500 times faster than possible with an ordinary computer.

"This agreement gives theSkyNet's citizen scientists the opportunity to process data from another flavour of telescope that collects visible light, rather than radio waves," said ICRAR Director Professor Peter Quinn.

Pan-STARRS1 is an innovative telescope designed to examine a very large portion of the sky at once and collect light from as many distant as possible.

"Members of theSkyNet will be able to process the new data to help astronomers learn more about what's in a galaxy: from where the stars are; to how much dust there is; and how much light that dust blocks," said Professor Quinn.

Since its launch seven months ago, theSkyNet has been crunching data for radio astronomers, with more than 700 million processing jobs completed by the 6,000 active members. The new agreement extends that capability beyond radio astronomy into visible light.

"Processing the data from Pan-STARRS1 would take an average computer over 1,000 years, but we think the donated computing power of theSkyNet can do it in less than two years," said Professor Quinn.

The new agreement cements ICRAR's position as a 'survey science' leader, building on the centre's involvement in other top international astronomy surveys including the GAMA project, the LSST project and upcoming projects with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP).

Pan-STARRS data processing will be introduced to theSkyNet gradually in coming months.

Explore further: What are extrasolar planets?

More information: www.theskynet.org/

Related Stories

Community computing project TheSkyNet launched

Sep 14, 2011

A community computing science initiative to help discover the hidden Universe was officially launched yesterday at Curtin University by Western Australia's Minister for Science and Innovation, the Hon. John Day.

Scoping the cost of the world's biggest new supercomputer

Feb 22, 2012

The world's most powerful telescope – the new Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – is likely to need the world's biggest computer to handle the incredible amount of data it will produce − and the International Centre ...

A new way to measure the expansion of the universe

Jul 26, 2011

A PhD student from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth has produced one of the most accurate measurements ever made of how fast the Universe is expanding.

First signal received by future telescope

Mar 03, 2010

An historic milestone was reached recently in Australia's bid to host the Square Kilometre Array telescope - a future international radio telescope that will be the world's largest and most sensitive.

Arecibo Begins Search for Dark Galaxies

Feb 08, 2005

Fitted with a new compound eye, the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico last week began a multiyear effort to survey all the galaxies in a large swath of sky out to a distance of 800 million light years—a ...

Recommended for you

What are extrasolar planets?

12 hours ago

For countless generations, human beings have looked out at the night sky and wondered if they were alone in the universe. With the discovery of other planets in our solar system, the true extent of the Milky ...

A curious family of giant exoplanets

13 hours ago

There are 565 exoplanets currently known that are as massive as Jupiter or bigger, about one third of the total known, confirmed exoplanet population. About one quarter of the massive population orbits very ...

Astrobiology students explore alien environment on Earth

13 hours ago

Sonny Harman never thought he'd be able to travel far enough to do field work. That's because the Penn State doctoral student studies atmospheres on other planets. But to his surprise, Harman recently stepped ...

NASA image: Hubble revisits tangled NGC 6240

13 hours ago

Not all galaxies are neatly shaped, as this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 6240 clearly demonstrates. Hubble previously released an image of this galaxy back in 2008, but the knotted region, shown ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.