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Video: Are you smarter than a dinosaur?

It appears that the sky is not the limit for federal crowdsourcing initiatives. NASA plans to blast out $35,000 over the next six months to citizen scientists who can help them better their asteroid detection, and has a new video to recruit participants:

The Asteroid Data Hunter contest, which began March 17, seeks algorithms to detect and acquire information about celestial missiles that might approach Earth. NASA hopes someone can come up with a formula that increases detection sensitivity and minimizes the number of false positives, while also ignoring imperfections in the data.

"The dinosaurs would've cared if they'd known" about the dangers of earth-threatening asteroids, the video's narrator notes. "Let's be smarter than them."

“For the past three years, NASA has been learning and advancing the ability to leverage distributed algorithm and coding skills through the NASA Tournament Lab to solve tough problems," NASA Tournament Lab Director Jason Crusan said in a statement. "We are now applying our experience with algorithm contests to helping protect the planet from asteroid threats through image analysis.”

About the Author

Reid Davenport is a former FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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