August 10, 2010
Einstein@Home "citizen scientists'' in the U.S.A. and Germany discover a new pulsar in Arecibo telescope data
Idle computers are the astronomers' playground: Three citizen scientists - a German and an American couple - have discovered a new radio pulsar hidden in data gathered by the Arecibo Observatory. This is the first deep-space discovery by Einstein@Home, which uses donated time from the home and office computers of 250,000 volunteers from 192 different countries. The citizens credited with the discovery are Chris and Helen Colvin, of Ames, Iowa and Daniel Gebhardt, of Universität Mainz, Musikinformatik, Germany. Their computers, along with 500,000 others from around the world, analyze data for Einstein@Home (on average, donors contribute about two computers each).