FAQs about launching the Stardust@home search

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albutterworth
Stardust@home Team
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FAQs about launching the Stardust@home search

Post by albutterworth »

When can I register and start searching?

We will launch the Virtual Microscope once we have collected enough movies to sustain the VM searches, while we continue to scan the aerogel in parallel. Best estimates at present are early June.
update We want to have 12 tiles ready before we open the Login.


Why the delay in launching the Virtual Microscope?

We had a few technical problems with the automated scanning system in the Johnson Space Center, Houston, which resulted in rescanning entire tiles. The most crucial aspect of collecting images is that they are in focus. We've been working on this issue in particular.

We need to have the first few tiles completed before launching the VM, to avoid having to suspend the VM later due to lack of data.



How long does it take to produce the focus movies?

For each tile we need a minimum or 4 days.
Each Stardust aerogel tile takes about 24 hours to scan at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas (making about 5000 movies). The hard drive full of raw scan images is then mailed to us in Berkeley, California (1 day). From the raw scans, we produce the focus movies (1 day). We then enter the movies into our online database ready for the Virtual Microscope (1 day).
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