Einstein@home: Discover Unusual Pulsar in AreciboData

12/ago/2010 22.33.57 SETI ITALIA Cocconi Contatta l'autore

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E c'è ancora chi dice che il distributed computing non serve a un cavolo...


Namasté. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste

Bruno Moretti Turri IK2WQA
FOAM13 Astronomical Observatory, Tradate, Italy
GIA-MG Astronomical Observatory, Monte Generoso, Switzerland
SETI ITALIA "G. Cocconi"
http://setiitalia.altervista.org

Forward by Larry Klaes, SETI League.

-----Original Message-----
From: "AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg"
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 18:48:12
To:
Subject: Cornell: Home Computers Help Discover Unusual Pulsar in Arecibo
Data

THE FOLLOWING RELEASE WAS RECEIVED FROM CORNELL UNIVERSITY IN ITHACA,
NEW YORK, AND IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR INFORMATION. (FORWARDING DOES NOT
IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY.) Rick
Fienberg, AAS Press Officer: rick.fienberg@aas.org, +1 202-328-2010
x116.

August 12, 2010

Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
+1 (607) 254-8093

HOME COMPUTERS FROM IOWA AND GERMANY,
USING ARECIBO DATA, HELP DISCOVER UNUSUAL PULSAR

By putting their home computers to work when they would otherwise be
idle, three people on two continents have discovered a lone pulsar
approximately 17,000 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula.

The finding, from data collected by the Cornell-managed Arecibo
Observatory's ongoing Pulsar ALFA (PALFA) survey and archived and
processed by the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing, is the first
deep-space discovery by Einstein@Home, which uses donated time from
the home and office computers of 250,000 volunteers from 192
countries.

Credited with the discovery are Chris and Helen Colvin, both
information technology professionals of Ames, Iowa, and systems
analyst Daniel Gebhardt of Universitat Mainz, Musikinformatik,
Germany. Their computers, along with 500,000 others from around the
world, analyze data for Einstein@Home. (On average, donors contribute
about two computers each.)

Einstein@Home was originally organized to find gravitational waves --
ripples in space-time -- using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational
Wave Observatory (LIGO). In 2009, data from the Arecibo Observatory
were included in the processing.

The newly discovered pulsar, PSR J2007+2722, is an isolated neutron
star that rotates 41 times per second and has an unusually low
magnetic field.

Jim Cordes, Cornell professor of astronomy, said the object is
particularly interesting because it is likely a recycled pulsar: a
neutron star that once had a companion star from which it acquired
mass; but whose companion exploded, kicking it free.

"We think th
there haven't been that many found," said Cordes, who is also chair of
the PALFA Consortium, an international group of astronomers conducting
the survey. "No matter what else we find out about it, this pulsar is
bound to be extremely interesting for understanding the basic physics
of neutron stars and how they form."

The discovery demonstrates the power of the network used to collect
and sort through vast amounts of data, Cordes said.

Einstein@Home is based at the Center for Gravitation and Cosmology at
the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and at the Max Planck Institute
for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, or AEI) in
Hannover, Germany. About one-third of Einstein@Home's computing
capacity is used to search Arecibo data. From Arecibo, data are sent
from the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing to AEI via
high-bandwidth Internet links. At AEI they are preprocessed and then
distributed to computers around the world. The results are returned to
AEI and Cornell for further investigation.

"This is a thrilling moment for Einstein@Home and our volunteers. It
proves that public participation can discover new things in our
universe," said Bruce Allen, leader of the Einstein@Home project, AEI
director and adjunct professor of physics at the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "I hope it inspires more people to join us to
help find other secrets hidden in the data."

Gebhardt and the Colvins and meanwhile, will receive plaques noting
their discovery, and all plan to stay involved.

Luckily for the Colvins, at least, the project doesn't require any
extra work on their part. The couple will likely have their hands full
soon: they're expecting a baby Aug. 20.

                           # # #

The Arecibo Observatory is funded by the National Science Foundation,
which collaborates with the Max Planck Gesellschaft to support
Einstein@Home.





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