SpaceHack Part 2

Let’s delve into some of the categories on

It seems like the first two, data analysis and distributed computing, are somewhat similar.  The first gets people involved while the second involves their computers.

Data Analysis

If you like counting things or pattern recognition type tasks, this might be the category for you!  I dug into the one that looked the most interesting to me “Planet Hunters” and does this sound cool or what?!?

” You will be looking at changes in star brightness at a level that has never before been seen. As a participant, you’ll search for possible transit events – a brief dip in brightness that occurs when a planet passes in front of the star – with the goal of discovering an exoplanet (hence the name “Planet Hunters”).”

A few other provocative names include:

Galaxy Zoo & Moon Zoo – classify images of each
Mapper – find microbialites in the lakes of British Columbia

From microbes & dust, to galaxies, and projects in between, there must be something in there for you.

Note:  6 out of 18 of the data analysis projects display [THE DEADLINE FOR THIS PROJECT HAS PASSED] banner across the picture

If that doesn’t sound like your thing, how about loaning out some computer time and other resources on your machine?

Distributed Computing

There are only four projects in this category:

Milky Way@Home

None appear to be past.

A teaser about one of them (can you find which?)…. ” The combined power of all volunteering users will help to solve important scientific tasks for both students and professionals in fields from astronomy to aerospace engineering.”

I love that idea!

I’ll let you go there to learn more.

Look for the third installation in this series tomorrow.  I’m lining up several guest bloggers to add more dimensions to Everyday Spacer and I’ve received permission to bring over some material from other sites for you.

Until then!

*Wide Range of Projects, Various Equipment & Abilities Required
*Most Any Age Can Play, if You Understand the Material
*Time or Computing Power Seem to be the Main Costs


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2 Responses to SpaceHack Part 2

  1. Jeff Miller says:

    If you use a laptop, be very careful with the distributed computing. Those programs can really heat up a laptop. And can severely damage your laptop.

    First run the program for about an hour while monitoring the laptop. If the heat exhaust vent gets hot, stop; your laptop cannot handle the heat load of that program.

    If your laptop does not overheat after an hour, that program is safe to use on your computer.

    Desktops don’t usually have this heat issue as long as you are not over clocking it (in which case it is probably running just under overload). This is because desktops have a lot of space inside that help them vent heat. You may, however, hear the fans spin up to full (in those with variable speed fans).

  2. Pam Hoffman says:

    Awesome advice Jeff – I didn’t know that!

    Pam Hoffman

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