21) Message boards : Number crunching : Garfield is coming.... (Message 14899)
Posted 29 Sep 2006 by Desti
Hey cool, that are very good news for LHC@home! :-)
22) Message boards : Number crunching : O.K., I'm New! No Work?? (Message 14016)
Posted 17 Jun 2006 by Desti

Turn on your machines (or switch them back)!!!
23) Message boards : Cafe LHC : Any news from Planetquest? (Message 13431)
Posted 23 Apr 2006 by Desti
PlanetQuest Collaboratory Newsletter
April 2006

"We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened."
- Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn

Dear Friends of PlanetQuest:

Hello to all of you once again, with our apologies for such a long silence! Much happened during the last part of 2005 and start of 2006, as you will read about below. There were changes in our organizational structure and personnel, two successful observing runs in the northern and southern hemispheres, and significant progress in the development of the Collaboratory software. Our special thanks to you all for your continued support!

PQ Personnel News

New Executive Director

Dr. David Gutelius has left PlanetQuest as Executive Director to pursue his many projects, including teaching at Stanford University and working on economics in the Arab world. We have greatly appreciated his expertise in getting the PlanetQuest project off the ground and set up for business. All the best Dave!

Our new Executive Director is Brad Silen, owner of Quality Process, a computer software development company, which is now working closely with PlanetQuest to produce the codes for analysis of stellar photometric types, BOINC updates needed to distribute the planet finding to you, and interface with our new star catalogue. Brad has degrees in Engineering and Philosophy! Welcome Brad!

Thanks to Outgoing Personnel

We thank Dr. Jay Doane, one of our programmers, who moves on to other projects after working on the first stages of the single-star transit detection algorithm (TDA) for PlanetQuest. We wish him all the very best in his new pursuits!

We thank Sylvia Paull, our first fundraiser; we have appreciated working with Sylvia and meeting many of her contacts in the software development and science education fields. We appreciated her cheerful and upbeat approach toward obtaining funding for PlanetQuest.

Welcome to New Personnel

Welcome to Dr. Craig Linberg, our new physicist. His PhD is in signal detection and estimation. He has been working with both the eclipsing binary transit modeler, as well as the planet detection algorithms. He brings a special knowledge of subnoise detection methods that will allow us (actually you!) to push the limits of planet detection down to smaller and smaller sizes as we obtain more data. Welcome Craig!

Astronomical Observing - Siding Spring and Lick Observatories

We have completed a one-month run at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, gathering data from stars in the galactic center (the region known as "Baade's Window"), which has the densest number of stars in the sky, with the exception of globular clusters (stars in globular clusters appear to be too poor in heavy elements to have any planets form around them, judging from surveys of both 47 Tuc and omega Centauri). We have chosen Baade's Window as it is the densest region in the night sky (in both hemispheres) and has been the target of the OGLE (optical gravitational lensing experiment) project, which indicates that there are at least 170 million stars that can be observed there down to 18th magnitude. We used the 1.0-meter telescope at Siding Spring, which has a wide field imager covering a 52 x 52 arc-minute field of view (i.e., almost a square degree!)

We have also completed our observing run with our newly designed and built focal-reducing lens and prime-focus imaging system (which widened our field of view to 40 x 40 arc-minutes) on the Crossley telescope at Lick Observatory. Our special thanks to Drs. Robert Slawson (PlanetQuest astronomer) and Zoran Ninkov (PlanetQuest board member) for the design and quality control. The new system was mounted at the prime focus of the Crossley telescope and performed perfectly over our one-month observing run, allowing us to obtain excellent photometric precision down to about magnitude 19. We observed low-galactic-latitude regions to maximize the number of stars available for PlanetQuesting, some centered in open clusters like NGC 559, since planets discovered in star clusters can also be dated. (We shall outline how this is done on our website shortly - the basic idea is that the color of stars in a cluster can give a rather good idea of its age.) The field here was in the constellation
Cassiopeia. The Crossley telescope was the world's first modern (metal-on-glass) professional-sized (0.9-meter) reflecting telescope, built in the 1870s and given to Lick Observatory in 1895, and still works very well with our state-of-the-art optical-mechanical-imaging system. We used a back-lit UV-sensitive 16 million pixel square array along with the Stromvil stellar classification system filters (a mix of the Stromgren and Vilnius photometric systems) so that we may preclassify, photometrically, the stars you are going to look for planets around.


We have found that the analysis of eclipsing binary star systems (double stars that orbit close to each other oriented in such a way as to eclipse each other across our line of sight) for planetary transits will take a significant amount of computational time but that these should be prime targets for planet detection as one will get at least two transit events every orbit of the planet. We now have eclipsing binary stellar classification software running and ready to be integrated into the TDA (transit detection algorithm) and converted to the BOINC format for distribution to you by, hopefully, early this fall. The detection of eclipsing binary transits was pioneered by three PlanetQuest scientists - Dr. Hans Deeg (of the Canary Islands Astrophysical Institute), Dr. Jon Jenkins (of the SETI Institute) and Dr. Laurance Doyle (of PlanetQuest).

We expect to be able to have a beta test ready soon. Stay tuned for this development! Our goal is a release you can try out by early this fall, when we can also expect to have enough data to accommodate 10,000 or more users.


We have made an informal agreement with the NASA PlanetQuest project (the name of a new spacecraft mission formerly known as SIM - Space Interferometry Mission) to promote each other's websites (ours to be referred to as the "PlanetQuest Collaboratory" and theirs to be known as "SIM PlanetQuest"). We look forward to mutually promoting and assisting each other in bringing exciting educational experiences to you!

We shall continue to add to our "Astronomy in All Cultures" essays on the website with the goal of having a global interactive tool for learning more about the astronomy of indigenous peoples around the world. We have a multitude of interesting ideas and sources of graphical educational material we will be bringing to you soon, including (we expect) illustrations from a National Geographic television program on habitable planets in which Dr. Doyle was interviewed as a guest scientist and also helped to write the script. The show was called "Extraterrestrial" in the United States and "Alien Worlds" in the United Kingdom.

Website Note

We have recently updated the PlanetQuest website and are planning further and continuing updates!

Important Note About PlanetQuest Funding Sources

Last, but certainly not least, we have decided that the best way to fund PlanetQuest, at least to start off, is for PlanetQuest membership to be a nominal $2 per month ($24/year) to allow us to have the number of stars track the number of users. We have devised a way to allow incremental acquisition of telescope time so that as PlanetQuest users are added, their contribution of $2 per month will allow us to provide a continuous stream of data, in addition to adding continuing utility to the Collaboratory. We will start with a stellar photometric-type classifier and a transit detection algorithm (both for single and double stars) but hope to add a gravitational lens planet detection algorithm, an eclipsing binary minimum timing planet detection algorithm, and a new method for doing SETI based on information theory, as well.

Annual dues of $24 for membership in the PlanetQuest Academy will allow many more people to participate in planet searching, while also allowing us to bring you more features in the Collaboratory. Eventually we may be able to offer PlanetQuest for free based on, for example, a Web advertising business model. But for a start, PlanetQuest Academy membership dues will help us bring you the best possible opportunities for discovery of new worlds!

With best regards,

Laurance R. Doyle, President
Brad Silen, Executive Director
J. Ellen Blue, Director of Publications

ps) We shall be sending out another newsletter shortly with details on PlanetQuest membership and donor information. We'll also mention details on the "live" release of PlanetQuest this fall. Much thanks again for your support!
24) Message boards : Number crunching : surf's up... (Message 12841)
Posted 22 Feb 2006 by Desti
Looks like there is coming another big bunch :-)
25) Message boards : Team invites : Linux Users Everywhere @ BOINC (Message 12454)
Posted 26 Jan 2006 by Desti
100.000 credits!

26) Message boards : Number crunching : initial replication (Message 12218)
Posted 21 Jan 2006 by Desti
How about this one?


it has been sent only once.

Now it's send out FIVE times, like a lot of others too.
27) Message boards : Number crunching : Work almost done? (Message 12201)
Posted 21 Jan 2006 by Desti
I'm sure > 50 % of that units are not done yet, because they were eaten by monster caches. 0_o
28) Message boards : Number crunching : LHC (WU's being issued to only one computer) (Message 12164)
Posted 18 Jan 2006 by Desti
This is the special LHC way of distributing workunits.
I'm sure it will not take weeks until the WU is send to another host, maybe some days.
29) Message boards : Number crunching : initial replication (Message 12037)
Posted 15 Jan 2006 by Desti
If you look, they have min quorum of 3, and, that means that they may not issue the last one or two results ...

Take a look at the send time, 5 times within 2 minutes.

30) Message boards : Number crunching : initial replication (Message 12029)
Posted 15 Jan 2006 by Desti
Right, 3 should be enough.
Is it possible to send the fourth WU only if there are no 3 valid results within 3 or 4 days back.
31) Message boards : Cafe LHC : Happy New Year (Message 11770)
Posted 31 Dec 2005 by Desti
Happy new year and some new workunits :D
32) Message boards : Cafe LHC : New CPDN experiment (Message 11766)
Posted 31 Dec 2005 by Desti

just some more "preview" of the transient coupled model:

1) we will have it out in beta test in about two weeks, and it will be available from the "regular" (i.e. this) CPDN site as well as a separate site BBC viewers will come in from (but they will be a separate "pool" of users).

2) it's quicker than the slab & sulphur as far as timesteps per second, but as Les mentioned it's 160 years (+ 6 days, for 4147632 total timesteps). It will be from the years 1920 to 2080 -- so will span 80 years "historical" (hindcast) and 80 years in the future (forecast) -- which they tell me is a common range for studies, IPCC reports etc.

3) we were going to split it up into two 50-year jobs, then two 80-year as we figured that would best match the literature. But there's a lot of trouble with say, somebody doing workunit 0j50_0004322 on a Linux 64-bit box, and then for the final 80 years a Win 32-bit box gets it, so it's not a well "controlled" thing. So having the "full monty" 160-year seemed the best

4) it runs about as fast as a spinup, so say the fastest machines, i.e. P-IV 3.8GHz will do the full run in 2.5 months.

5) I didn't think it was more unstable than the others, but maybe it is!

6) I am moving from the old "CPDN hogs your whole hard disk" paradigm. In the old days we fancied everyone running CPDN would do perhaps 1 model, and it would be nice to keep your data around locally for advanced visualization etc. But I don't think that fits in well with BOINC, as we ended up using too much space, people end up doing 10 models a year etc. So I will have the model "clean up after itself!" The trickles will provide plenty of information at monthly global & regional scales.

7) the trickles will be smaller than the spinups but more than the slab runs, probably about 100KB per day (since a meg per day is too much for the general public!)

8) there will be 16 uploads (intermediate uploads every 10 years) -- so even if you crash in the middle or towards the end we will have a lot of valuable information. Each upload will be about 3-5MB Max (so cumulatively it will be a lot, i.e. 50-80MB). Which means I hope the BBC or someone buys us more upload servers!
33) Message boards : Number crunching : What is happening with Geant4? (Message 11437)
Posted 22 Nov 2005 by Desti
If I remember correctly, this experiment will start after the LHC is finished and working.
34) Message boards : Number crunching : WOW Linux Box just got Work (Message 11262)
Posted 7 Nov 2005 by Desti
The crunching times are very different, e.g. http://lhcathome.cern.ch/results.php?hostid=48420
35) Message boards : Number crunching : Paul D Buck - Wiki thumbs up - yet... (Message 11239)
Posted 6 Nov 2005 by Desti
You can only use computer1 as proxy or router.
36) Message boards : Number crunching : Up and Running (Message 11237)
Posted 6 Nov 2005 by Desti
Up and Down, Up and Down, Up and Down, Up and Down, Up and Down, W00000HHHT
37) Message boards : Number crunching : Up and Running (Message 11174)
Posted 2 Nov 2005 by Desti
New work :-)

Server Status

Up, 7716 workunits to crunch
23555 workunits in progress
48 concurrent connections
38) Message boards : Number crunching : Project end, when? (Message 11108)
Posted 28 Oct 2005 by Desti
Up, out of work
31418 workunits in progress
40 concurrent connections

28.10.2005 13:34 UTC
The current group of studies is coming to an end. Small bunches of workunits will be created as we finish off the studies. There will probably be a pause while the results are studied.
39) Message boards : Number crunching : Host corruption (Message 10885)
Posted 25 Oct 2005 by Desti
All my host entries were corrupted, but it seems, that a simpley "update project" fixed it (BOINC 4.72).
40) Message boards : Cafe LHC : news from orbit@home (Message 10829)
Posted 21 Oct 2005 by Desti
October 21, 2005
In the last month, we've not been able to work on orbit@home on a daily basis for various reasons, but still some important results have been achieved. The most important improvements to orbit@home are the result of the collaboration with Pan-STARRS (http://pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/public/) researchers in order to be ready to analyze their observations as soon as their survey starts (first light for PS1 prototype is scheduled for early 2006) and the observations are made publicly available. This requires substantial science-code development, and the results so far are extremely positive. As the first wave of WU demonstrated, the code based on ORSA works correctly on remote clients (only Linux platform tested for the moment). In order to provide WUs on a daily basis, we are developing a science-database and the relative management code. This will take a fair amount of time, about two more months of work. For this reason, the beta phase will be postponed to early 2006. Clients for Windows and Mac OS X will be provided as soon as the scientific application is considered sufficiently stable on the Linux platform. All the clients will be provided and tested during the alpha phase, to fix all the major problems before the beta phase.

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