Crowd-sourcing is a pretty neat way to get things done. You’ve been helping us crowd-source science by mapping the surfaces of the Moon, Vesta, and Mercury. More and more projects are being crowd-sourced and crowd-funded, a true grassroots evolution. If your particular talent happens to be computer coding, you might want to jump into this new TopCoder challenge issued by NASA: The Grand Asteroid Challenge Series.
The first challenge starts March 17. the task? Create a computer algorithm that can identify near Earth objects in images taken from ground-based telescopes and do a better job than existing algorithms. From the site:
The winning solution will increase the detection sensitivity, minimize the number of false positives, ignore imperfections in the data, and run effectively on all computers.
Quite a task? Sure, but it may be one of the most important to humanity’s survival. Okay, okay… there are plenty of things that we have to worry about, but a major impact from an asteroid we didn’t see coming is one of those things. That’s why it is so important to look for the objects around us. It’s a good idea to harness the power of the greater coding community to take on such a challenge. So give it a try. I’m looking forward to see what the content brings forth!