Welcome to Stardust@home’s Duster of the Month! Each month we will highlight one of the many Stardust@home volunteers (or “Dusters”) in our blog. The questions asked are designed to enlighten us about the very important human aspects and motivations of the project’s most valuable asset. Each month there will also be a new question from a random member of the science team. If you would like to be a featured Duster of the Month, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Month’s Featured Duster is
Michele T. Mazzucato
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself (but please also note questions to come):
Born in 1962, I’m married and we have a daughter. I pursued technical studies and am a surveyor with the Italian State Forestry Corps. I consider myself practical, concise and perseverant. I’m also intolerant to injustices.
2. What part of the world do you currently live?
I live in Italy in a small town near Bologna, not far from the Radio Astronomical Station of Medicina.
3. Have you always had an interest in science?
Yes, especially in astronomy and geodesy. I’m also co-founder of the Gruppo M1, an Italian association of amateur astronomers, legally constituted since 2000.
4. Why do you dust?
Because it is a great opportunity to give my little contribution to the development of our knowledge of the Universe. This project is not a small thing.
5. How do you connect to the internet (e.g., DSL, Cable, modem, Satellite)?
6. Are you involved in any other “citizen science” projects?
I’m involved in some Zooniverse projects.
7. What is your overall life philosophy, or are there words you like to live by?
I would say: let it be and live and let live into their positive meaning.
8. What have you seen, heard, or done that has most amazed you?
The landing on the Moon. The wonders of the microcosm and macrocosm that technology today allows us to observe. Colors and sounds of Nature.
9. What about you surprises people the most?
My availability. I give help to those who need it and I share my experience in science.
10. If you could solve just one mystery in the Universe, what would it be? (the Stardust@home team question of the month)
The mysterious and fascinating dark energy, which is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the Universe. It is estimated that the Universe is made up of about 73% dark energy, 22% dark matter, and only 5% of ordinary visible matter. This knowledge would allow us to better understand the evolution and ultimate fate of the Universe. However, every time we gather new information we are fueled with new questions.