Crowd sourcing comes to astronomy

Crowd sourcing comes to astronomy

Online snaps of comet used to determine its orbit

By Nadia Drake, 16:31 PM July 23, 2012

Some people scour the Internet for pictures of celebrities and cats.

Others search for comets.

After performing a Yahoo! image search for photos of Comet Holmes, which whizzed by Earth in 2007, a team of astronomers used the returned images to reconstruct the comet’s orbit in three dimensions — proving that astronomers can take advantage of data provided by an unwitting group of participants.

“I think it’s the beginning of something really, really important,” says Harvard University’s ...

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