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New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:28 am
by Jay
Hello, I am a new duster, although i started looking for stardust last month I have had problems registering on this forum but thats sorted now.
I have a question, in my events section it is only listing one item, but i have clicked several which i am sure there were tracks.
Am i right in thinking that these tracks could have been calibration movies, and if so, do they no get recorded in my events?
Happy hunting!

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:33 am
by nitram819
Hi Jay,

You are absolutely right, if the movies do not get recorded in your Event list, then that would mean that they were calibration movies and therefore you should be getting one point if you answered it correctly.

My suggestion is that each time that you click on what you think might be a track, that you take a look at your statistics (bellow the movie window) and see if you got a correct/incorrect answer. If you do not get a correct/incorrect answer, then this means that the movie was a real one and not a calibration movie. If you look at your events page, you should see it listed.

Hope this helps, and welcome to Stardust!


Re: New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:55 am
by Jay
Thanks for confirming that Martin. it seems there are lots of calibration movies!

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:45 am
by caprarom
Jay, you'll likely encounter a calibration movie roughly once out of seven. They are evenly split between positive and null calibrations, so over time you'll see a calibration track about once every 14 movies. That's just an average; the actual interval between tracks will vary greatly.

You might not see much discussion on the forum right now since we're in a bit of an interlude between phases. Once Phase IV kicks off (soon, we're told), You'll see more forum activity. Regards,

Mike C.

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:54 am
by Jay
Thanks Mike, Can someone explain what exactly the different phases mean? I joined in January so what phase would i have joined in, and how does that affect me, are the tracks harder to find now then in earlier phases?
If that is so, is the test renewed each time there is a new phase or has that stayed the same from the start.
I am wondering if maybe the test has made it seem easier than it really is to find tracks becuase i passed the test with 10/10 correct but now i am thinking maybe i am not to good at finding tracks based on my rather poor stats!
Your Overall Score: 24
Total Movies Viewed: 743
Your Rank: 505 out of 29843
Specificity: 100%
Sensitivity: 19%
At least i think these are poor, as a duster whos only been dusting for just under 1 month should i be expecting a higher score? my specificity has remained at 100% so i guess im doing something right but my sensitivy has dropped a bit.
I am also concered that i am not clicking the right place to show a track, are there any threads that show examples of where to click?

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:48 am
by nitram819
Phase 3 began in March of 2010 and is supposed to end soon. I personally joined in the middle of phase 2 and that was 2 years ago.
From what I have seen in the past, a new phase starts when the Stardust team implements new criteria for finding tracks. For example, phase 3 is more focused on finding 'midnight tracks', these are basically high angle tracks that points to 12oclock. In phase 2, the focus was on high angle tracks (not just midnight) and also tracks with no angles. Tracks with no angle are entering the aerogel with no or very little angle, so as you can imagine, they are not looking the same as angled track. These enter the gel straight. In my opinion, these are harder to find than the angled tracks. Somebody else might have a different opinion, we all have our own preferences. I wanted to find an example of a track with no angle but I'm having a hard time to find one (Ill post one later).

In a blog post made by Dr Westphal last week, he had mentioned that the Stardust team had very recently found a track (track # 40) that looked much like the tracks that were the focus of phase 1 & 2(with no angles). I believe that phase 4 will focus on these kind of tracks and also the midnight tracks. You can read the blog post here: .

You wont have to do the test again at the beginning of phase 4, but it is highly recommended that you go through the tutorial at the beginning of a new phase. They will update the tutorial with new material that will apply to the new phase so you will want to review it.

I also suggest that you take a look at the Interstellar candidate list right here: ... esnews.php . It list all the interesting tracks that were found and also gives you some of the analysis results. I just noticed now that they have added an entry for track #40 which I talked about earlier! Although there is no movie for it, just a surface picture for now.

Oh and regarding your stats, that's nothing to worry about. I wasn't very good when I started either but got much better over time. My phase 2 stats were terrible by my standards, but my phase 3 stats are really good. They say that we must click the 'deepest part of the track that we can see'. In other words, the last part of the track that comes in focus should be the deepest.

I'm hoping that this isn't too confusing. Good luck with your research.


Re: New duster with question

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:36 am
by nitram819
Well I reviewed the information that we have about track 40, I assumed that it was not a midnight track but it looks like I was wrong (track descriptions says otherwise). ... 7&theY=161

When I read that it looked much like the phase 1 calibration movies I assumed that it was not a midnight track, especially after looking at its picture. There is no movie for it so I could not use the zoom.

Nonetheless, the training material should get updated soon and we will all have a better idea of what to look for in phase 4. I'm not going to make any more assumption as to what phase 4 will be like.

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:26 pm
by elainekeefe
Martin, I agree with you that Track #40 does not look like a midnight track. In fact, I probably would not have tagged it as a track at all, since it does not resemble (from my memory) the cm's of Phases 1, 2 or 3. To me, it looks more like a flaw in the aerogel or debris. Perhaps if we had the movie to view, it would be more evident why this was selected as a midnight track. I also am curious about the comment at the bottom of the photo which says "Nobody clicked in Phase 1, 2 or 3". According to the blog, this movie was never downloaded to the Stardust site for us to view, so how could we have clicked? And, last but not least, what in earth is a "midnight hedgehog"? LOL! I guess we will be seeing some changes in the cm's in the next phase!


Re: New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:05 am
by nitram819
Hi Elaine,

From what I understood, track 40 was found in a new, previously untouched tile which they they were scanning to make new focus movies. It was said in the blog that the track was found by the team that was scanning the tile. So this should explain why nobody clicked it. I assume that the new focus movies from this tile will be available in phase 4.

My best guess is that they are also going to make calibration movies with this track for phase 4.

I did some digging in old forum posts and I able to find a phase 1-2 track (it appears to be a real one, not a calibration movie). Here it is as promised: ... =9227391V1 .

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:14 am
by fjgiie

Boy that does look like a real track! (smile)

Is it a calibration movie?

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:54 pm
by jsmaje
Nitram819’s link to 9227391V1 brings it up without problem via his link, which uses the “ondeck_movie” address (see below), and which on R-clicking reveals it is in fact a calibration from phase 2. End of doubt.

Meanwhile, fjgiie’s copy-link then uses the “myevents_viewer” address, which promptly refuses to cooperate, since one is indeed attempting to view a calibration.
The problem here arises from the annoying manner in which the forum program unilaterally decides to abbreviate lengthy links on screen by the insertion of dots, regardless of one having initially typed the full address.
Someone else then wishing to pass on the link, if copying just the terminal movie number, can easily append it to an inappropriate address.
I suggest always reviewing how one’s link appears before sending, and edit back in the missing part over the dots.
Also, only post copy-links from what appears in the address bar on following the initial link.

The whole business of appropriate addresses got me into a state of confusion a while back, hence my post (regarding a different movie)
here which may be of help.

Meanwhile, regarding #40, to me it appears to be someone called Andrew’s idea of a joke, given its weird blue colour, single frame and name “midnight hedgehog”! Not the Andrew, surely!?
Doesn’t even look like a hedgehog.


Re: New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:38 pm
by fjgiie
Phase III is looking at movies from Tile I003 and I008 right now.
Andrew Westphal said: Meanwhile, totally by accident, we recently discovered a new track, track 40. This track was discovered as we were setting up tile I1003 for automated scanning in Berkeley.

jsmaje, The broken link was on purpose. Just making a point about that track being a calibration movie. Anyone wanting to look at the movie could use nitram819's link. (smile) I hate it that we don't have any smiley.

I believe that blue image is the only picture available to show track 40.



Re: New duster with question

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:04 pm
by nitram819
Hi guys,
Sorry about all the confusion. I only wanted to show Jay an example of what an old phase 1-2 track looked like. The purpose of this was to answer his question about the differences between phases and I thought that giving him an example of an old track (or calibration movie) was the best way to go.

Also thanks for pointing out that it was not a real movie, but rather an old calibration movie. I was not sure how to determine this anymore.

Re: New duster with question

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:28 pm
by jsmaje
Thanks Martin & fjgiie, and my apologies for not taking track #40 seriously, having now just read the official report at