Tuesday, 7 December 2010

I work for NASA

Your looking at that title and saying to yourself " Bullshit", but it is true, well partly. Let me explain...

You know that big ol' telescope orbiting Earth called Hubble, well over the last 15 years it has taken millions of photos of distant galaxies. Now all these galaxies get categorised by a computer but only into the most basic of classifications. This is because the algorithms that they use aren't sophisticated enough to tell more than the basics such as overall shape, colour etc etc.
   So that's where I come in, well me and about 100,000 other people. The human brain can process information at a far greater detail than even the best computers, they can also make intuitive leaps that a computer can't. So NASA have created a crowdsource website, where any old Joe ( like me, only I'm a Thomas) can log on, look at images of Galaxies and answer simple questions about that image. This gives a far more accurate classification and the good thing about this is even if i make a mistake, the fact that it will be classified by thousands of people means that the overall mean answer will be almost certainly the correct one.

Why do I do it? Well it gives me a sense that I'm helping advance the knowledge of the human race even if it is in the smallest of ways but even an avalanche starts with a snowflake. ( very apt analogy rite there)

So if you have a spare 5 mins every day why not look at a few pictures and who knows you might get a celestial phenomenon named after you like one guy has. This is from the website - 

"Hanny Van Arkel, a Dutch schoolteacher and Galaxy Zoo volunteer, posted an image to the Galaxy Zoo forum and asked 'What's the blue stuff below?' No one knew. The object became known as a Hannys 'Voorwerp' — Voorwerp being Dutch for 'object'

You can't say thats not stunning. It's about 30,00 light years away. Incidently that big green thing is a  Hannys Voorwerp!

This is the place to go - http://www.galaxyzoo.org/

Other news... 
  • Introduced my girlfriend to my Da or Dad if your not Irish - That says it all really, Kylie came down for Sunday lunch. She's met everyone else except him.
  • Nearly crashed at a roundabout - Slight hill leading to a roundabout, no grip because of the snow. Had to avoid the car in front by sliding out onto the road. Thankfully there where no cars coming round.
  • Built a snowman (see below)
  • Destroyed a snowman....Mwuhahaha!
  • Had venison sausages for the 1st time - They where ace. My da's a game hunter, he culled a stag and sold it to a local butcher. We got a ton of free meat and sausages out of the deal.

That's about all the note worthy news for this time. I think the next blog will be a round-up of the year!


Kylie G said...

You mean I met your 'older brother'...lol
He killed a Stag...:O
Me and him, no longer friends :(

Thomas McCool said...

Culled not killed - population control. You have to keep the number down or they will breed to much. When they get into mating season nothing stops them. Are you not a meat eater? Consider him a conservationist. It doesn't go to waste :) Mmmmmm.......

yobble42 said...

You forgot your other reason for doing this, you have nothing better to do with your time :P

Which is also why I'm away to do it... *sigh* it's also why I read this in the first place :p anyhoo I still have no idea why it shows up as yobble42 when I post comments >.<