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Blogs

Blog Posts by Amir Alexander

Descent Imager Spectral Radiometer (DISR)

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/01/10 10:00 CST

The Descent Imager Spectral Radiometer crams six sub-instruments into a tiny footprint within the Huygens probe.

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IBM's World Community Grid: A New SETI@home-Inspired Venture

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.

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Scientists from Different Fields Line Up to Join the BOINC Family

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.

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Multi-Beam Receiver Promises New Vistas for SETI Research

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.

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Pulses, Triplets, and Gaussians: Rescoring the Reobservations

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Too Finds Traces of Water

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Breaks More Records; Opportunity Digs a Trench

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Both Spirit and Opportunity Get to Work on Mars

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.

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New and Improved SETI@home will Form the Backbone of Distributed Computing Network

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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Analyzing the Reobservations

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/07/18 12:00 CDT

SETI@home chief scientist Dan Werthimer and his team went back to Arecibo to reobserve the most promising candidate signals detected by the project so far. Unlike most of the year, when SETI@home piggy-backs on the regular operations of the telescope, this time the Werthimer's crew had the full use of the resources of the giant dish.

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