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Blog Posts by Amir Alexander

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

Amir Alexander • February 17, 2004

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.

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

Amir Alexander • February 03, 2004

Both Mars Exploration Rovers -- Spirit and Opportunity -- are getting to work studying the Martian landscapes in which they landed.

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

Amir Alexander • September 25, 2003

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.

Analyzing the Reobservations

Amir Alexander • July 18, 2003

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.

Reobservations Report No. 8: Beyond the Countdown: SETI@home Makes Plans for the Future

Amir Alexander • March 27, 2003

SETI@home's Stellar Countdown has come to an end at the Arecibo Radio Observatory. All in all the Stellar countdown observed 227 promising locations in the sky. Within the next few weeks all the data collected and recorded will be processed by SETI@home users around to world.

Reobservations Report No. 7: On Last Day at Arecibo, SETI@home Turns to Distant Planetary System

Amir Alexander • March 24, 2003

After getting bumped off the telescope last week to make way for Solar flare observations, SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer and his crew will spend 14 hours today observing the locations of SETI@home's most promising candidate signals, as well as a few other interesting locations.

Reobservations Report No. 6: Solar Intervention Postpones SETI@home Reobservations

Amir Alexander • March 19, 2003

SETI@home's plans to reobserve its most promising candidate signals were interrupted today by the unexpected intervention of a Solar flare.

Reobservations Report No. 5: First Observation Session Completed at Arecibo

Amir Alexander • March 18, 2003

The SETI@home team has completed the first of its three 8-hour observation session at Arecibo, designed to revisit the most promising candidate signals detected so far by SETI@home.

Reobservations Report No. 4: Results in Real Time

Amir Alexander • March 17, 2003

SETI@home scientists will have to wait for several weeks for the full analysis of the data collected during the reobservations. But even while the observations are going on at Arecibo, they will already have a good idea if they have found something significant.

Reobservations Report No. 3: Selecting the Finalist Candidates

Amir Alexander • March 14, 2003

For three successive days SETI@home will have use of the giant Arecibo radio telescope to revisit the most promising candidate signals detected since the project was launched in 1999. SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer and his team put together a list of the "best" 200 locations in the sky where promising candidates have previously been detected.

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