The Stardust@Home project has scanned the aerogel collector from the spacecraft. Volunteers go online and (after taking online tutorials and passing a test) examine a tiny area at a time searching for interstellar dust particles. If you believe you’ve found something you mark that slide.
In and of itself, not a very exciting activity, but it’s pretty cool to have a chance to be a part of space science from your own home. Or office – I’ve been examining samples at lunch. I can hold a turkey burger in one hand and work the “virtual microscope” with the other. The project keeps track of your statistics, as well as throwing in the occasional “calibration” slide to keep you on your toes and measure your effectiveness.
Here’s my current stats:
|Calibration Movies Answered Correctly||61|
|Calibration Movies Answered Incorrectly||3|
|Your Overall Score:||58|
|Total Real Movies Viewed:||154|
|Your Rank:||7054 out of 16171|
I’ve identified only 2 possible dust particles so far. Other volunteers view the same slides for confirmation and then it moves on to the scientists. Haven’t heard any verifiction yet. It supposedly takes a while.