Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
Nationally supported research center for studies in theoretical astronomy and related subjects hosted by the University of Toronto.
CITA receives research support from an NSERC collaborative special project grant, as well as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
CITA's primary missions are to foster interaction within the Canadian theoretical astrophysics community and to serve as an international center of excellence for theoretical studies in astrophysics.
European Space Agency (ESA)
Europe's premier space sciences organization.
MilkyWay@Home uses the BOINC platform to harness volunteered computing resources, creating a highly accurate three dimensional model of the Milky Way galaxy using data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This project enables research in both astro-informatics and computer science.
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)
United States' premier space sciences agency.
SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a scientific area whose goal is to detect intelligent life outside Earth. One approach, known as radio SETI, uses radio telescopes to listen for narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. Such signals are not known to occur naturally, so a detection would provide evidence of extraterrestrial technology.
Radio telescope signals consist primarily of noise (from celestial sources and the receiver's electronics) and man-made signals such as TV stations, radar, and satellites. Modern radio SETI projects analyze the data digitally. More computing power enables searches to cover greater frequency ranges with more sensitivity. Radio SETI, therefore, has an insatiable appetite for computing power.
Previous radio SETI projects have used special-purpose supercomputers, located at the telescope, to do the bulk of the data analysis. In 1995, David Gedye proposed doing radio SETI using a virtual supercomputer composed of large numbers of Internet-connected computers, and he organized the SETI@home project to explore this idea. SETI@home was originally launched in May 1999.
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