On 11th of February astronomers announced the first ever detection of gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time that occur when, for example, two neutron stars or black holes merge.
Now a program called Einstein@home will start analyzing data from the upgraded Laser Interferometer Gravitation-Wave Observatory (LIGO) that made the first detection of gravitational waves last month. Einstein@home, started in 2005 and works in a similar way as the well known SETI@home project that search for signs of extraterrestrial life. It uses the idle time of volunteers’ computers to make calculations and analyze data. Specifically, Einstein@home doesn’t search for sources like the two merged black holes that generated the detected signal last week. Instead it focuses on neutron stars that produce a weaker signal and require more computation power and time to be detected.
For those interested to volunteer the idle time of their computers, they can join the project here.