Solar flares postpone [email protected] re-observation

After one day of re-observing promising radio sources at the Arecibo radio telescope, the [email protected] project has been bumped from the telescope’s observing schedule until next Monday, March 24, so that researchers can observe a rare solar flare. Dan Werthimer, chief scientist of [email protected] and a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory, said, “It happens about once every two years at Arecibo that they have to bump everyone so they can observe a flare.” The change in plans was caused by the eruption of two solar flares on Monday and Tuesday (March 17 and 18). Similar events in the past have been known to interfere with communications and global positioning satellites.

From the University of California, Berkeley:
Solar flares postpone [email protected] re-observation

By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | 19 March 2003

BERKELEY ? Arecibo, Puerto Rico – After one day of re-observing promising radio sources at the Arecibo radio telescope, the [email protected] project has been bumped from the telescope’s observing schedule until next Monday, March 24, so that researchers can observe a rare solar flare.

Dan Werthimer, chief scientist of [email protected] and a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory, said, “It happens about once every two years at Arecibo that they have to bump everyone so they can observe a flare.”

The change in plans was caused by the eruption of two solar flares on Monday and Tuesday (March 17 and 18). Similar events in the past have been known to interfere with communications and global positioning satellites.

[email protected]’s “Stellar Countdown” got underway on March 18 at Arecibo. During an eight hour session, the [email protected] team observed 52 candidate radio sources and 30 other objects, including nearby stars, galaxies and stars known to possess extrasolar planets. The team wants to re-observe up to 150 of the most interesting radio sources found out of the billions detected since the distributed computing project began to search for extraterrestrial intelligence in May 1999. The team will observe a further 1 1/2 hours today (March 19) and reschedule the remaining 15 hours of observing time on March 24.

[email protected], based at UC Berkeley, harnesses the computing power of four million volunteers to analyze data from the Arecibo telescope. Designed as an innovative screensaver program, [email protected] parcels out packets of raw data from Arecibo to be processed in the personal computers of volunteers around the world.

The Planetary Society, the founding and principal sponsor of [email protected], was started in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. With members in over 125 countries, the society is the largest space interest group in the world.

For a fuller story on the re-observations, check out the Web article at http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/03/10_search.shtml.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.