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Thread: Questions and Suggestions for the CosmoQuest team

  1. #1
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    Questions and Suggestions for the CosmoQuest team

    I've taken the liberty of starting this thread because...well, I've felt for a while that such a thread was missing, that a single point of contact was needed between the very busy CosmoQuest team and the perhaps equally busy working masses of the Ice Investigators. The CosmoQuest team, in particular those members in the team involved mostly with the Ice Investigator part, then only need to subscribe to this one thread in order to know if there are questions or suggestions from us to them. And we only need to post here if we have some question or suggestion for them. Seems like a win-win situation to me.

    I suggest one rule for this thread, though: No image specific questions such as "Should this particular blob in this particular image be categorized as a transient?" Otherwise the thread will get flooded.

  2. #2
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    Some questions that I have posted previously in one thread or another:

    1. How often are we shown the same image and why are we shown the same image more than once? Some weeks ago I started saving the images that I marked and at one point I had (what appeared to me as) the same exact image marked 3 times and the same image, but in another "subtraction-version", marked 2 times.

    2. What does it mean whern a marking has been "confirmed"? Does it mean that 1 or more other Ice Investigators have marked the same object on the same image? Or that 2 or more other Ice Investigators have marked the same object? Or that I myself have marked the same object on the same image (see 1.) more than once? And does my "confirmed" number rise every time I mark yet again the same object on the same image (see 1.)? I ask because I'm trying to get a feel for how relevant my "confirmed" numbers are.

    3. The previous project, Ice Hunter, had the same people running it, the same goal and the same method. What were the final results of that project? I think those statistics could be very interesting for us.

    4. Will the CosmoQuest team at some point write an article outlining how you process the markings that we make? I mean, how do you get from a marked blob to determining whether it is nothing, a KBO, a variable star or an asteroid? I would certainly find that very interesting. I've looked at various pages here but haven't found anything yet. If there is an existing description and I just missed it, I'd be grateful for a link.

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    5. When I enter the Gallery and click the "Recently Confirmed Asteroids" link I'm presented with just 2 pages of asteroid images, totalling 28 images in all. This number has remained unchanged for many days. But I personally have 47 confirmed asteroids in My Ice and have had more than 28 for weeks. There must therefore be a problem with the way the Gallery works.

    6. I've tried reporting the problem described in no. 5 via the "Report Bugs" button, but when I click that button I just get an error message (in Danish) which includes the text (translated from Danish): "Error 310 (net::ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS): There were too many redirects." Can anyone from the team help?

    7. I understand that the CosmoQuest team is busy and perhaps doesn't have much time for searching this forum for questions and concerns from the Contributors (this is why I started this One-Stop-Shopping thread), so is there some other way you would prefer for us to interact with the team? Is it better if we use the PM facility?

  4. #4
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    Oops, forgot one question:

    8. Several posters here have reached the end of images currently available. Some posters have posted the number of images they reached before "the end" came:

    electronlibre: 11277 images
    CTroop: 6778 images
    DanishDynamite: 6333 images
    cents: >8000 images

    How is it that the final number of images varies so much?

  5. #5
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    In my case I only reach 3574 when I login today u.u

  6. #6
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    I think I can answer the question #8: Each image has to be marked by 15 people. If you go very fast or started to mark images a long time ago, more images will be "available" to yo. If you go slower or registered just a few days ago, many of the images will be checked by 15 people already, so less images are left for you to mark.

  7. #7
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    I second elelectronlibre's suggestion for question #8. As far as the other questions are concerned, I contacted the science team so that they won't miss this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elelectronlibre View Post
    I think I can answer the question #8: Each image has to be marked by 15 people. If you go very fast or started to mark images a long time ago, more images will be "available" to yo. If you go slower or registered just a few days ago, many of the images will be checked by 15 people already, so less images are left for you to mark.
    Interesting! I understand better now, well... was lack of more free time in my case them (plus that month offline while sick)

    But, ready to go when new images arrive!

  9. #9
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    Just a quick note: I made the thread sticky so it does not get lost in this subforum.

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    elelectronlibre, your suggested answer to #8 sounds very plausable. Thanks!

    kmasterdo, wonderful idea to make this thread a sticky!

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    I hope members of the CosmoQuest team will soon have a moment to answer the questions here, though, because new questions keep piling up. And with the "Report Bugs" link not working, there seems to be no other place to ask.

    9. I've just seen that new images are now available for marking, which is great. But the "Toggle Contrast" button has now disappeared! This button was vital! If I have to mark objects without this button my false positive rate will sky-rocket. What's going on?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanishDynamite View Post
    Some questions that I have posted previously in one thread or another:

    1. How often are we shown the same image and why are we shown the same image more than once? Some weeks ago I started saving the images that I marked and at one point I had (what appeared to me as) the same exact image marked 3 times and the same image, but in another "subtraction-version", marked 2 times.
    you should only see the same exact image once. however, you may see the same exact spot in the sky but the image was taken at a different time. you can tell whats happening by looking at the image name. lets take this random example: m1105.MB03.01.2-s.0000.0736. the first part m1105, refers to the run. this set was taken at the magellan telescope (the m) in may of 2011 (1105). the second part refers to the field, MB03 for the third field number (which is a very arbitrary designation). the 2-s, meaning that this is the second image with the stack subtracted. and the '0000.0736' refers to the x.y location where this small image was taken from.

    2. What does it mean whern a marking has been "confirmed"? Does it mean that 1 or more other Ice Investigators have marked the same object on the same image? Or that 2 or more other Ice Investigators have marked the same object? Or that I myself have marked the same object on the same image (see 1.) more than once? And does my "confirmed" number rise every time I mark yet again the same object on the same image (see 1.)? I ask because I'm trying to get a feel for how relevant my "confirmed" numbers are.
    confirmed means that other investigators have seen the same transient within the same image, i think the limit is set at least 5 other people clicking on it (i need to check). later you will see a verified link which means that it has been confirmed by the science team to be a real object.

    3. The previous project, Ice Hunter, had the same people running it, the same goal and the same method. What were the final results of that project? I think those statistics could be very interesting for us.
    so far, the only published results have been a submission to the minor planet center for the kbo's found there. these results can be seen here:
    http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K12/K12FA9.html
    http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/acm2012/pdf/6430.pdf
    and a very long list of everything submitted: http://minorplanetcenter.org/iau/ECS...C_20120406.pdf

    4. Will the CosmoQuest team at some point write an article outlining how you process the markings that we make? I mean, how do you get from a marked blob to determining whether it is nothing, a KBO, a variable star or an asteroid? I would certainly find that very interesting. I've looked at various pages here but haven't found anything yet. If there is an existing description and I just missed it, I'd be grateful for a link.
    that is a complicated process but the basics are: you start with an image with an astrometric fit (meaning you know the location of the image on the sky relative to the stars in the image, in the end it is in RA and DEC that we use) when you click something we record the x,y position on the image and can figure out that position on the sky using that fit. we also know the time between the images and now that we know the location (because of where you clicked) we can say the transient was at this place at this time. these points allows us fit an orbit to it, the hard part is making sure that it is actually an object moving and not a few variable stars blinking on and off. but we need as many points as we can get, the more points we can get over the longest time we can get will make the orbit better so we can tell for sure if it is in the path of NH.

    i hope that helps some!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanishDynamite View Post
    5. When I enter the Gallery and click the "Recently Confirmed Asteroids" link I'm presented with just 2 pages of asteroid images, totalling 28 images in all. This number has remained unchanged for many days. But I personally have 47 confirmed asteroids in My Ice and have had more than 28 for weeks. There must therefore be a problem with the way the Gallery works.
    that is something that is broken and needs to be reported.

    6. I've tried reporting the problem described in no. 5 via the "Report Bugs" button, but when I click that button I just get an error message (in Danish) which includes the text (translated from Danish): "Error 310 (net::ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS): There were too many redirects." Can anyone from the team help?
    that is a big issue. please message starstryder (ice investigators admin) with that issue.

    7. I understand that the CosmoQuest team is busy and perhaps doesn't have much time for searching this forum for questions and concerns from the Contributors (this is why I started this One-Stop-Shopping thread), so is there some other way you would prefer for us to interact with the team? Is it better if we use the PM facility?
    lately the cosmo quest team has been working on getting this site running smoothly. i (as a science team member) prefer the forum, however PM works, it just may take a while for people to respond.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanishDynamite View Post
    Oops, forgot one question:

    8. Several posters here have reached the end of images currently available. Some posters have posted the number of images they reached before "the end" came:

    electronlibre: 11277 images
    CTroop: 6778 images
    DanishDynamite: 6333 images
    cents: >8000 images

    How is it that the final number of images varies so much?
    we are trying to get data moved around the site. you may have noticed that as of today we are out of images to show and are trying to get more images in the queue for you to see.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanishDynamite View Post
    I hope members of the CosmoQuest team will soon have a moment to answer the questions here, though, because new questions keep piling up. And with the "Report Bugs" link not working, there seems to be no other place to ask.

    9. I've just seen that new images are now available for marking, which is great. But the "Toggle Contrast" button has now disappeared! This button was vital! If I have to mark objects without this button my false positive rate will sky-rocket. What's going on?
    unfortunately, the new data that was just loaded was made with only one contrast, it is a new data set that comes from a different camera than before. we should be able to make another contrast, so this might change in the future.

  16. #16
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    Regarding the disappearing contrast button: The new images appear to all have been loaded as 'secondary' images, causing all the images in the gallery to appear black since they're based on primary images that don't exist. Even if we can only have one contrast, would it be possible (without it being a logistical nightmare, of course) to have the new set as primary images so that the gallery works better?

  17. #17
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    What happen to the "Toggle Contrast" button?

  18. #18
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    I'm pretty sure so far I have marked a chicken, a cockroach, Odin's hammer, a telephone and an Oreo fudge cream cookie.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by borncamp View Post
    you should only see the same exact image once. however, you may see the same exact spot in the sky but the image was taken at a different time.
    I got one image 5 or 6 times. I saved the URLs of the last two occurrences :

    http://www.cadc.hia.nrc.gc.ca/data/p....0383.2467.png
    http://www.cadc.hia.nrc.gc.ca/data/p....0383.2467.png

    Thanks

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoseRed View Post
    I'm pretty sure so far I have marked a chicken, a cockroach, Odin's hammer, a telephone and an Oreo fudge cream cookie.
    Cool! Do you want to share these examples in a "Pareidolia" thread?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by karthikeyan View Post
    I got one image 5 or 6 times. I saved the URLs of the last two occurrences :

    http://www.cadc.hia.nrc.gc.ca/data/p....0383.2467.png
    http://www.cadc.hia.nrc.gc.ca/data/p....0383.2467.png

    Thanks
    Those images aren't exactly the same although they are of the same spot on the sky. I'll leave any technical explanation to the experts, however.

  22. #22
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    Catching up

    Hi All,

    I'm so sorry for being slow responding. We are an exceedingly small team, and I had 2 weeks of travel followed by being sick. We're working to get a second core team scientist in here, Nicole Gugliucci (NoisyAstronomer), so I'm hoping that with two of us, we'll be able to respond more quickly.

    People have been asking me questions via PM, direct email, and sometimes even twitter. I try an answer all of them as I can.

    I just updated the Ice Investigators FAQ with the answers to any questions I have gotten more than once.

    I also fixed the bug with the "Report Bugs" link. So sorry about that.

    Cheers,
    Pamela

  23. #23
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    PS re contrast button

    The new data only has one contrast available. When we have data with two contrast images, we'll give you back the contrast button.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by natattack View Post
    Regarding the disappearing contrast button: The new images appear to all have been loaded as 'secondary' images, causing all the images in the gallery to appear black since they're based on primary images that don't exist. Even if we can only have one contrast, would it be possible (without it being a logistical nightmare, of course) to have the new set as primary images so that the gallery works better?
    problem fixed. Tell me if you come across anything else.

  25. #25
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    Hi borncamp. Thanks for answering my questions!

    Re. question no. 4 (how to get from a blob to a KBO) would it be possible to elaborate a bit on this? You could then put the explanation in a blog post, the FAQ or some similar place. I read that this project also has an educational component and I think a number of us would like to understand this process better. Some questions regarding this:

    1. When you have a marked transient on an image, how do you tell if it is a KBO, a variable star, an asteroid or just a mistaken marking? I understand that you have a series of images of the same part of the sky. Do you then compare these images against each other (and how do you do this?) to see if the object moves? If it does move then it would seem to be either an asteroid or a KBO, but how do you tell the difference?

    2. I understand that the images of the same area of sky are taken hours or perhaps a few days apart. Is it possible to determine an accurate orbit with images taken just a few days apart?

    3. Why is it more difficult to determine the orbital parameters of asteroids vs. KBOs? I would have thought it would be easier to determine orbits of things which move more in a few days than things that move less.

    4. Do you also check if marked asteroids might in fact be KBOs? Sometimes its hard to tell if a blob is round enough to qualify as a KBO.

    5. Is the SHIFT key not working on your keyboard?

    Thanks again!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by starstryder View Post
    Hi All,

    I'm so sorry for being slow responding. We are an exceedingly small team, and I had 2 weeks of travel followed by being sick. We're working to get a second core team scientist in here, Nicole Gugliucci (NoisyAstronomer), so I'm hoping that with two of us, we'll be able to respond more quickly.

    People have been asking me questions via PM, direct email, and sometimes even twitter. I try an answer all of them as I can.

    I just updated the Ice Investigators FAQ with the answers to any questions I have gotten more than once.

    I also fixed the bug with the "Report Bugs" link. So sorry about that.

    Cheers,
    Pamela
    Thanks for the great FAQ updates and for fixing the Bugs link!

  27. #27
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    Why is this site still in Beta version? Back in April, starstryder said: "We're gearing up for an early May public launch of Ice Investigators." We are now in mid-June and as far as I know (see next sentence) this site is still Beta. (I reported a bug a couple of days ago and the bug reporting form directly stated that this site was still Beta.)

    I've promoted this site only once so far, at the JREF Forum on May 12. In my promotion post I included that the Beta label was days away from being removed (based on starstryder's statement). This "Beta label removal" has so far not happened. And I've been reluctant to promote this site anywhere else until it was "fully operational".

    So, what's the hold-up?

  28. #28
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    Where are you seeing a beta label? Specific URL? I looked at Ice Investigators and Bugzilla and don't see beta labels anywhere. The site came out of beta on May 21. I'm wondering if you maybe have a caching problem?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by starstryder View Post
    Where are you seeing a beta label? Specific URL? I looked at Ice Investigators and Bugzilla and don't see beta labels anywhere. The site came out of beta on May 21. I'm wondering if you maybe have a caching problem?
    The Beta label appears when I report a bug via Bugzilla. In the screen "Bugzilla - Enter Bug: Ice Investigators" there is a box titled "Version". This box is pre-filled with the version "Beta" and it is the only choice.

    But I'm happy to know that the Beta label is never the less officially removed. I just wish a song and dance had been made about it.

    Was there a blog post or a forum post which announced this?

  30. #30
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    Sorry to be a bother, but I have another question.

    How big a help are our marking efforts? In the first image set, which I read somewhere was around 13,000 images, I noticed via the Gallery that about 4,400 transients had been marked. Without a detailed description of how our marked images are processed, I presume that all 4,400 marks must be manually checked out, one by one, by someone from the CosmoQuest team. Does this mean that our work basically reduces the initial filtering work of the CosmoQuest team by 2/3 rds?

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