View Full Version : Ice Hunters

2012-May-21, 12:15 AM
From other posters here I learned that there was a Citizen Scientist project similar to Ice Investigators which was called Ice Hunters. After googling a bit, it seems this project had the same key people as instigators, the same goal of finding KBO for New Horizons and the same method of finding them. A couple of questions:

1. Does anyone know why the Ice Hunters project was ended earlier this year and this new Ice Investigators project was started?

2. Is there a page where one can see the final statistics of the Ice Hunters project? I'm thinking of things like: total images viewed, total transients marked, total KBO found, total new KBO officially recognized, total variable stars marked, etc. I think those data could be quite interesting, just to see what can be achieved.

I found the link http://www.icehunters.org/catalogue.php which apparently has the catalogues of objects found. Roughly estimating from the number of objects per page and the number of pages, it appears the following was found:

Number of KBO: 150
Number of variable stars: 84,000
Number of asteroids: 15,000

Impressive. Anyone know if the objects in the catalogues are all new discoveries or if some might just be objects that are already known?

2012-May-21, 12:36 AM
The tabular view of the KBOs in Icehunters says: In some cases, different Master IDs represent the same KBO observed on different date. These will be matched with their Official Name. I assume, this goes for the other stats as well.

2012-May-21, 04:10 PM
The number of KBO is, as far as I know, the number of different images containing a KBO.
Only 2 KBOs have been submitted to the Minor Planet Center (2004 LV31 & 2004 LW31). To be accepted on the MPC, a new object must be given with several positions (22 different positions in this form : http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K12/K12FA9.html). Each position is an image.
I've read somewhere (can't remember where) that other KBOs have been found, but with insufficient data yet to get a precise orbit. And if you can't have a precise orbit, you can't be submitted on the MPC database.

2012-May-22, 03:00 AM
The New Horizons team was behind both the Ice Hunters and Ice Investigators projects, and I was the lead programmer for Ice Hunters, and the lead designer with coders Cory Lehan and Joe Moore for Ice Investigators.

I think, but need to double check, that all the KBOs discovered were new, and the final number was several tens of objects once all the pointings were combined. We'll be putting up those catalogues later this summer.

2012-May-22, 06:27 PM
Thanks for the info everyone. Still, my two main questions seem to remain unanswered.

2012-May-22, 07:43 PM
Yes, I confess it's hard to well follow this saga.
The first KBO investigation throught Ice Hunter project had found two objects. I was in the MPC list !!! Then, what occured, misty to say !
Happy to have find Cosmoquest. I have already began to work.

2012-May-23, 12:32 PM
Thanks for the info everyone. Still, my two main questions seem to remain unanswered.
To your first question: My understanding is that the IceHunters investigation ended when all available data (over 8 million images) had been examined. The Ice Investigators project is beginning with the availability of new data. I assume the new project is beginning on this new site because the operators of the project feel it gives them more control over the project. Not that I have any inside information.

2012-Jun-15, 07:25 PM
Personaly, cosmoquest looks like a cheap replica of what Icehunters once has been. In order to save traffic they dropped the conrast button, the marking correction is also not as good. Because Icehunters shows up like a subtopic of a bigger forum, you "don't feel like at home" in the forum and the discussions are not as intense.

Actually, there are likely more than just two KBOs that were found during the Icehunters survey. It is still not clear though what they're hiding. I decided not to spend too much time on this site till they keep their promises and publish the data on icehunters.org (which is currently down).

2012-Jun-16, 01:13 PM
Hi servic, the contrast button is currently disabled because the image set that's now in the queue does not provide two contrasts (see starstryder's post here (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?651-Questions-and-Suggestions-for-the-CosmoQuest-team&p=1585&viewfull=1#post1585))

2012-Jun-18, 10:48 AM
Hi DanishDynamite, Yep, I've been a bit confused over the same thing. I joined Ice hunters last year and then had a long break, only starting again in the last couple of months. Pam and her team are all on the new site so I'm guessing that they've just updated the site. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you asked them directly, just to be sure.

2012-Jun-19, 07:28 PM
Thanks kmasterdo, great to hear the button is only temporary away. I thought the guys are saving internet traffic.

Concerning the other topic, it is still somewhat a shame that scientists pretend not to see the questions regarding the results. A simple response "we're working on it" or better "we expect the results being published within the next X months, the delays are however possible" would be great.

No response shows disrespect to the ones that click through the data. If I got it right, a parallel effort of automatic analysis is also being pursued. Would be interesting to know how we perform in comparison.

2012-Jun-19, 08:39 PM
Concerning the other topic, it is still somewhat a shame that scientists pretend not to see the questions regarding the results. A simple response "we're working on it" or better "we expect the results being published within the next X months, the delays are however possible" would be great.

Hi Servic, I'm sorry that you are upset. We are a small team while the Mods like Kmasterdo do a great job helping me track questions that need answered, sometimes things slip through the cracks.

Put simply, Ice Hunters was a project built within the Zooniverse by the New Horizons team who employed my team to do all the engineering. As a Zooniverse project, it had its own private blog, its own private forum, and logins that gave users access to the entire Zooniverse. When that project completed the set of data that was available last summer, it was decided that the new data would go into the CosmoQuest system, and a new interface called Ice Investigators would be built. When you get data from the Subaru telescope, there is a contrast button, and when you get data from the CFHTelescope you don't get a contrast button do to data differences. CosmoQuest shares one forum for all its projects because we want to form a single community where people who work on all the different projects talk to one another. It also has a single blog so that people have one place to go for information. CosmoQuest is largely funded by NASA and is working directly with the mission teams for each of its projects. The switch to CosmoQuest was made for a lot of complicated reasons, but they boil down to one simple idea: CosmoQuest is designed as a community that facilitates both learning and doing science, while Zooniverse only focused on the doing aspects. By integrating in star parties, lectures, and the classes we'll be starting, we hope to provide you a better chance to understand the science you are participating in.

All the KBOs discovered by Ice Hunters have been submitted for publication. I'm afraid I can't tell you which ones have made it through the publication process. I've been busy working on building things on this site, and our science liaisons with the New Horizons mission have been madly observing. It's like the graduate school application you work your butt off to turn in, and once it's turned in you suddenly have to start studying for exams, so you forget everything else while you study for exams, knowing that you did the best you could with the submissions.

I've asked the science team to update me on what has and hasn't been published, and once I have that, I'll update you as I can.

I hope everyone can understand that we're a small team. What makes citizen science so powerful is that people like you are able to dedicate time doing a lot of the work, allowing us to do more than we could ever otherwise do. That said, we can only do so much. Our 3 science contacts, Marc, Dave and JJ, are responsible for multiple NASA projects, and are constantly traveling as they work to take the data needed to fill Ice Investigators. Their number 1 priority is finding a target or two that the mission can visit. That has to happen ASAP so that orbital corrections can be modeled and planned. Publishing the objects is something we'll do in as timely a manner as possible, but until the needed targets are found, lots of their time and energy is going to go into taking new data.

I hope this makes sense. As always, please feel free to email or PM me at anytime.


2012-Jun-28, 05:52 PM
Thank you Pamela for the detailed response. It is more detailed than I could have hoped for.

I wonder, if you're planning to crowdsource the identifications of variable stars vs KBO candidates, if one passes some sort of an "exam"? It may be boring just click some 50000 images through. So if one looks through his own ice and checks... What do you think?

2012-Oct-19, 04:29 PM
News into Ice Hunter project ?

2012-Oct-22, 02:59 AM
I was thinking the same, here we are ready to hunt more kbo's!

2013-Jun-30, 03:17 PM
Hi all,


is no longer available.

Will never be more visible archive of the Ice Hunter online ?

2020-Oct-27, 03:29 AM
Thank you; DanishDynamite!