Want to advance science while playing a game? Well…you’ve been able to do that for a while, but now you can do it even more!
It’s basically farming out the scutwork in a fun way to citizen scientists. Supernovas are generally discovered by taking three images of a part of the sky: a new image is taken, and visual data of that same part collected in the past is subtracted. If you’ve got a white dot in your crosshairs, you’ve probably just discovered a supernova.
Sound easy? Well, by astronomy standards, it is, but keep in mind these are guys who measure the specific gravity of planets billions of miles away and use spectrometry on them for a living: they have an odd standard of “easy”. So, it’s a simple concept, but a real challenge to get those supernovas lined up in your crosshairs. Check it out right here.
[ via the champagne supernova fans at io9 ]