Ready to hunt for some asteroids? NASA and Planetary Resources have announced a new desktop app that incorporates algorithms from a contest that challenged researchers to detect asteroids with greater accuracy.
The Asteroid Data Hunter app runs on Windows and Mac, with a Linux version coming soon.
Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company based in Redmond, Wash., says the contest resulted in an overall improvement of 15 percent in the positive identification of algorithms in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The results were released by NASA at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, over the weekend. The contest, part of NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, awarded a total of $55,000 in prizes to those who developed the algorithms.
“The winning solutions of each piece of the contest combined to create an application using the best algorithm that increased the detection sensitivity, minimized the number of false positives, ignored imperfections in the data, and ran effectively on all computer systems,” said NASA and Planetary Resources in a news release announcing the results.