Sometimes, scientists need a hand. There's a lot of data to sift through, and now more than ever, the public can be part of that sifting. Take this fun new project: a crowdsourced hunt for star clusters in the Andromeda Galaxy.
An online program from the University of Washington, the University of Utah, and other partners lets any amateur astronomers take a look at images from the Hubble Space Telescope and search for star clusters in the galaxy. There's a lot of those clusters--as many as 2,500 in the images--but researchers have only found about 600, even after searching for months. (One big roadblock: Pattern-recognition software tends to skip over star clusters.)
That's where everyone else comes in. Volunteers can mark the images when they spot a cluster or galaxy in the background, and the researchers will pick up on it. There's even a fun bit of gallows humor in it: "We're on a collision course with the Andromeda Galaxy," the opening screen says. "Help researchers understand the awesomeness of the Andromeda galaxy, because one day we'll be in it..."
Why study something that won't happen in humanities fragile timeline? Our Sun will die out in about 5 to 7 billion years and turn into a Red Giant and cook the Earth in about 4 billion years and swallow it whole in 5 to 7 billion years (it's size will grow to 120% of our orbit around the Sun) and this is before the Andromeda Galaxy is predicted to arrive (5 billion years-will be cooked before then)..
Don't we have things to do with our time than wasting it?
How about working on a solution NOW for exploring the deep sea and energy independence or designing craft to launch the human race to another SAFER galaxy?
Get a life Popular Science Editors and report on something meaningful.
Actually, the odds of our solar system being disrupted when our galaxy merges with another are pretty low. We will however want to start working on being able to move to another planet that would likely become inhabitable if the sun were to become a red giant. This would be much easier than moving to another solar system within our own galaxy, not to mention another galaxy other than the closest one (which is Andromeda).
It is possible our solar system could be ejected from the galaxy when it merges with Andromeda. Now that would be exciting!
I really enjoy science and the wonder of everything! As we draw the details of the cosmos around us, we take in such a wonderous painting our Lord has made! Thank you my Dear Lord!
Gizmowiz - Well, In a billion years we could have moved to another solar system in this galaxy and someone might be around to watch the galaxies co-mingle, but I wholeheartedly agree that this is a colossal waste of time, a perfect job for liberals though who spend all their time in fantasyland anyway.
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. -Carl
It should be the duty of every free citizen to question "why" on principle alone. The very nature of those spearheading this endeavor follows this logic. Science is a way for truth's to be known, this is science. As far as this being a waste of time, many great discoveries have been made from similiar project's. Separatist attitude's are currently a collosal problem in our governing body, and are unwelcome.
I don't see this as being a waste of time. They are trying to answer questions they have about the known universe. Besides, they are asking for volunteers to help with the project. Everyone has a hobby of some kind, helping modern science progress through your hobby is actually a pretty damn good use of time! Its better then playing video games.
@Bobby_R and gizmowiz;
Seriously? You guys are on a science dedicated website, and you are knocking science that you find “worthless”? That’s incredibly sad and disappointing. Somehow you’ve brought being liberal into this (not needed by the way), when in fact you only show how right winged you are. Only Republicans would look at science and try to limit the why and worth of it. Science is what anybody wants it to be, from a kid making a volcano in school, to someone who’s worked his/her entire life looking up at the beautiful sky and asked “why?” or “how?”. So how about from now on, instead of bashing someone else’s dreams, you guys keep the negativity to yourselves and only read and comment on the articles YOU care about. Thank you.
Voyager just discovered that our Galaxy is larger than we thought. so much for telescope analysis.
Yes, I'm a neocon. Read the constitution. 95% of it protects you from the government. If you don't find value in that you may want to think again.
1.)Republicans are neither right wing or conservative.
2.) How you feel this 'limits' science is beyond me. There are galaxies co-mingling right now that can be studied a lot more effectively than trying to divine what will happen with these two in some number of billions of years.
3.) Science dedicated website? Actually it seems to be around 50% dedicated to science based articles that are merely reprints form other sources easily found in 'the news' and 50% product advertising.
4.) neocons don't care what people to. Life Liberty Pursuit of happiness. There isn't a whole lot of limitation to that and it's all we care about. Do anything legal and some things illegals and I'll applaud you for it. I'm just using MY free speech to give my opinion about how it is a colossal waste of time. I could argue you're trying to Limit My free speech. Liberals are fascist. Decide for yourself whether you're in that category or not, I don't know.
Please enjoy yourself, especially your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Seriously - read the constitution. That old rag that's kept the USA the best country up until very recently. It is about to all be gone when the supreme court goes liberal over the next 4 years. Watch how much personal liberty disappears.
Point 4) "Do anything legal and some things illegals and I'll applaud you for it." and "I'm just using MY free speech to gie my opinion about how it is a colossal waste of time."
What happened to the applause? It's not illegal....
The top ten discoveries according to the science channel that were found accidentally. Do you think any of them are important? Do you think the initial research was? One of the beauties of life is being surprised along the way.
Maybe you should stop being scared of your government and living a little.
gizmowiz: You reply on a considerable proportion of PopSci's articles. Why not find something more productive to do, like find star clusters? Why come down on someone's field of study, anyways? "Scientist" isn't an interchangeable term. An astronomer probably won't be able to design space ships or study the oceans with the same skill level as an aeronautical engineer or an oceanographer. Completely different skill set.
toomeyND, I am applauding. I'm also tossing out a thought. I also believe kids playing call of duty or any other video game to obsession, as opposed to going out and playing a pick up baseball, basketball game, or tooling out on the bike, is not only a waste of time but detrimental to their health but I'm not interested in stopping anyone from doing it. Their choice. I think all drugs should be legal even tho I have no personal interest. Imagine all the kids NOT doing drugs when the street dealers have been priced out of the business, - if that's your thing.
Scared of my government? I don't know how old you are but I'm old enough to have seen the effects of government.
-40 years of the war on drugs, trillions of dollars spent and the "problem" is worse than ever.
-50 years of the war on poverty, and the progress is nowhere.
-40 years of the department of education and most people would agree public school education is less than a joke. It has only gotten worse year after year.
-the economy is trashed because politicians have been kicking the problems down the road until we are now close to the end of the road.
-post office losing 10+ billion a year and No intention to do anything about it.
-You could fire every federal worker, close every federal dept, including the government itself and the country would still be running at a deficit.
-You could take All the wealth of the 'rich' and only be able to run the country for 96 days.
Do you pay taxes? You enjoy throwing money away?
I could go on and on and on.
So tell me, what does the federal government do that you value?
You think the federal
So the collision will take place 4 billion years from "now", although the tidal gravity forces will be noticable long before that by Andromeda's known detectable mass and undetectable black matter and black hole(if not already).
I think that for now there will be more pressing preocupations long before that that should be addressed. So, scientists, get onto the real job e.g. astroids and increasing cosmic radiation. I'd be glad to work with you on those.