MSNBC reports researchers at the University of California at Berkeley are calling on computer users to join the Stardust@Home project and help find tiny grains of interstellar dust captured by NASA’s Stardust probe.
Scientist will rely on army of volunteers using on an online “virtual microscope” that will allow participants to sift through the anticipated 1.5 million aerogel images for interstellar dust tracks.
Volunteers must go through a web-based training session and pass a test to qualify to register to participate. After passing the test and registering, participants will be able to download a virtual microscope (VM). The VM will automatically connect the participants to server and download so-called "focus movies" -- stacks of images that we will collect from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector using an automated microscope at the Cosmic Dust Lab at Johnson Space Center. The VM will work on participants' computers, who will search each field for interstellar dust impacts by focusing up and down with a focus control.
Volunteers who discover stardust particles will get to name their finds and will appear as a co-author on any scientific paper by the Stardust@home collaboration announcing the discovery of the particle.
If you are interested in participating in the search for the Stardust cosmic particles submit your name here.