Blog Posts by Amir Alexander
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/12 11:00 CST
February 18, 1930, was a cloudy day at the Lowell Observatory, on top of Mars Hill in Flagstaff, Arizona. 22 year old Clyde Tombaugh was hard at work, peering through the lens of an ancient-looking brass-colored device. The instrument, known as a “blink comparator,” mounted two large photographic plates.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/11/24 11:00 CST
As SETI@home has demonstrated, untold millions around the world are ready and eager to donate their computer time for the advancement of knowledge and the benefit of humankind. The story of distributed computing is only just beginning.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/08/24 12:00 CDT
BOINC stands for the “Berkeley Online Infrastructure for Network Computing.” Its purpose is to spread the credo of distributed computing beyond SETI@home, by making it easy for researchers in all fields to launch their own projects, and tap into the enormous computing capacity of personal computers around the world.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/08/04 12:00 CDT
Faster and more regular sky surveys, at an increased sensitivity and broader bandwidth, will push the boundaries of SETI to new and unexplored territories.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/05/17 12:00 CDT
It has been more than a year since the SETI@home crew spent a hectic week at Arecibo, pointing the giant radio telescope at some of SETI's most promising targets. Much of the data collected during the reobservations has since been repackaged as work units, and sent out to users around the world for analysis.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/03/05 11:00 CST
Four days after scientists announced that rocks examined by the rover Opportunity in Meridiani Planum were once soaked with water, Opportunity's twin Spirit made some headline news of its own. In a press conference this morning at the Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, Dr. Ray Arvidson, Deputy Principal Investigator for the rovers, announced that Spirit had discovered the telltale signs that some amount water had once been present in Gusev Crater as well.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/02/17 11:00 CST
Mars driving records are falling at Gusev Crater, as the rover Spirit continues its steady progress towards the nearby crater nicknamed "Bonneville." On Sol 43, which ended on the morning of Monday, February 16, Spirit drove 19 meters (62.3 feet) in the morning and another 8.5 meters (27.9 feet) in the afternoon. The total drive of 27.5 meters (90.2 feet), breaks the Mars one day drive record of 24.4 meters (80 feet), set by Spirit only 7 sols ago. The previous record holder Sojourner, rover of the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission, had managed no more than 7 meters (23 feet) in a single sol.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/02/03 11:00 CST
Both Mars Exploration Rovers -- Spirit and Opportunity -- are getting to work studying the Martian landscapes in which they landed.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/09/25 12:00 CDT
SETI@home and BOINC are gradually converging, and the benefits for both are substantial. While SETI@home enjoys the increased flexibility of the BOINC platform, it brings to BOINC something of inestimable value to a distributed computing project: millions of SETI@home users, willing to use their computers' processing power for the advancement of scientific research.
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