The Milkyway@Home website states, 'The goal of Milkyway@Home is to use the BOINC platform to harness volunteered computing resources in creating a highly accurate three dimensional model of the Milky Way galaxy using data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.'
As a joint effort of the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, both at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the project uses the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) platform.
BOINC is an open-source software project that uses volunteer computing and grid computing.
It is widely recognized for its search program for signs of extraterrestrial life using the SETI@home project.
According to the ScienceDaily.com article 'Home Computers Around the World Unite to Map the Milky Way,' the Milkyway@Home project is the ''¦ fastest computing project on the BOINC platform and perhaps the second fastest public distributed computing program ever in operation (just behind Folding@home).'
If you decide to join the project to map the Milky Way in 3D, each new volunteer will agree to provide a certain small percentage of their computer's operating power for making calculations to the Milkyway@Home project.
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