“Citizen Science in Astronomy” – Zooniverse conference, Taipai, Taiwan, Mar.3-7.2013

The Zooniverse  citizen science organization will hold the Citizen Science in Astronomy conference in Taipai, Taiwan in March 3-7, 2014: Announcing the Citizen Science in Astronomy Workshop – Zooniverse

Citizen science – the involvement of hundreds of thousands of people in the research process – is a radical response to the challenge of dealing with the greatly increased size of modern datasets. The combined assessment of many non-expert human classifiers with minimal training often equal or improves that of a trained expert and in many cases outperform the best automated algorithms. As astronomical surveys and observations have continued to grow towards the petabyte scale, online citizen science projects have proven quite successful in enlisting the general public to mine these rich datasets from searching for exoplanets to identifying gravitational lenses.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together astronomers, computer scientists, and machine learning experts to focus on developing, for a citizen science approach to current and future astronomical datasets, new and improved data reduction techniques and algorithms to assess volunteer behavior and direct effort more efficiently. Such efforts are critical in coping with data from the next generation of experiments and instruments, including the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), Hyper-Suprime Cam (HSC), and the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

Curiosity operations suspended due to electrical issue

The Mars Curiosity Rover has an electrical problem. So far the “soft short” doesn’t appear to be too serious but it dise reduce the level of robustness and tolerance for future problems. Operations with the rover are currently suspended while NASA JPL engineers attempt to diagnose the problem and determine if there is anything that can be done about it.

Space policy roundup – Nov.22.13 [Update]

The Obama administration released their official national space transportation policy document yesterday:

Yet more space policy/politics links:


Video: Asteroid Initiative Workshop – Grand Challenge Panel Part 1

Here’s another video of presentations at the recent NASA workshop on proposals for asteroid missions:

NASA TV coverage of the Grand Challenge panel session of the NASA-hosted public workshop at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston to examine 96 of the ideas submitted to the recent Request For Information on ways to accomplish the agency’s asteroid initiative.

Space policy roundup – Nov.21.13

Some space policy/politics items:

Here’s a video, courtesy Stephen C. Smith, of yesterday’s House Science Subcommittee hearing on commercial space: