New NASA App Blasts Off at SXSW 2015

New NASA App Blasts Off at SXSW 2015NASA has landed at SXSW. And they’ve just launched a new app into the mobile universe.

What NASA is busy touting is a new app (based on an algorithm created by a NASA challenge) that puts an enormous amount of power into the hands of users. The app, we’re told, has the potential “to increase the number of new asteroid discoveries by amateur astronomers.”

Analysis of images taken of our solar system’s main belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter using the algorithm showed a 15 percent increase in positive identification of new asteroids.

Over the weekend, NASA representatives discussed how citizen scientists have made a difference in asteroid hunting.

The team also discussed a desktop software application based on an Asteroid Data Hunter-derived algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. “It’s a tool that can be used by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists,” a NASA press release reads.

The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge was part of NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge.

“The Asteroid Grand Challenge is seeking non-traditional partnerships to bring the citizen science and space enthusiast community into NASA’s work,” says Jason Kessler, program executive for NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge. “The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge has been successful beyond our hopes, creating something that makes a tangible difference to asteroid hunting astronomers and highlights the possibility for more people to play a role in protecting our planet.”