Quantifying gravitational lensing by dark matter

May 23, 2011

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The latest prediction competition at Kaggle is literally "out of this world": the goal is to quantify the shape of 2-D images of galaxies from a simulated telescope, to test models for how invisible dark matter in the Universe distorts the images through gravitational lensing (as shown in the image below; see the FAQ for more details). If you're thinking about tackling this in R, the pixmap package will be handy for importing the images, and wavelet analysis might be a good way of dealing with the noise issues. The winner will receive an trip to JPL in Pasadena, Calfornia to attend the GREAT10 challenge workshop "Image Analysis for Cosmology". 

Galaxy ellipticity
Kaggle: Mapping Dark Matter



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