Aug 11, 2017
For the past 2 months we have been running an experiment on The Zooniverse's project builder platform, called Agent NEO. We had 2 aims: 1) to improve our code for finding NEO candidates and 2) to shorten the time from observation of the candidate to reporting the result to the Minor Planet Center.
To do this we made a Zooniverse project, where each day we would upload thumbnails of 200 pixels around each candidate. We then ask Zooniverse volunteers if there is an asteroid in the cross-hairs.
After 2 months we are taking a break to evaluate what we have learned from all the measurements the volunteers have made. The volunteers were also very helpful in making suggestions to make the documentation clearer.
Some problems occurred during this first phase of the programme, some were due to our inexperience with using the Zooniverse project builder and supporting such a large number of volunteers. We have been able to clear up those problems, and learned a lot in the process.
We are taking a pause now for a few reasons:
We are going to take the next few months to update our code and consider how we move forward with Agent NEO.
We would like to thank all the volunteers for the efforts they put in to making this project successful. Your contributions have been extremely valuable and will play a big part in what we do next!