Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Help Nasa identify interstellar dust

Those of you who are even remotely interested in astronomy, you must have read about the recent return to earth of the Stardust capsule.
In a nutshell, Nasa sent a capsule into space in 1999 and today it comes back with contents from the core of a commet.

According to BBC, the capsule is believed to contain about a million particles of comet and interstellar dust left over from the birth of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago. Comets are thought to be cosmic time capsules containing material unchanged since the formation of the Sun and planets. Finding these particles and being able to analyze them could provide a new window into the distant past.

AND.. you can be a part of it! Nasa are looking for 30,000 volunteers to work from their homes and help locate these particles.

According to Sydney Morning Herald: Any volunteer who discovers an interstellar dust particle will appear as a co-author on the scientific paper announcing the discovery of the particle by the Stardust@home collaboration. Sign up - I did!
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening? Locations of visitors to this page