I wanted to put one of my home servers to better use over night, so joined the Einstein@Home project.

Einstein@Home uses the idle time of a global network of computers to search for weak astrophysical signals from spinning neutron stars (often called pulsars) using data from the LIGO gravitational-wave detectors, the Arecibo radio telescope, and the Fermi gamma-ray satellite. Einstein@Home volunteers have already discovered about fifty new neutron stars, and hope to find many more.

The long-term goal is to make the first direct detections of gravitational-wave emission from spinning neutron stars. Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago, and were directly seen for the first time on September 14, 2015. This observation of gravitational waves from a pair of merging black holes opens up a new window on the universe, and ushers in a new era in astronomy.

Anyone can participate with Einstein@Home. It takes just a minute or two to sign up, and little or no maintenance to keep Einstein@Home running. Einstein@Home is available for Windows, Linux and Apple macOS computers, and Android devices. Head over to https://einsteinathome.org/ to get started.

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