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The human touch


Jackie Davies: The eye is the most brilliant computer that we have. The things you can see by eye, it's so much better, it's so much more advanced than computers.

Steve Crothers: In order to try and make the computer detect these things, you have to simplify it for them. And as soon as you've simplified it enough, then they just say, ‘Well, yes, your model agrees with this data, doesn't it?’ Because it's just limited to how it can fit it.

Chris Davis: It would be really useful to know if this storm here was the same as that – well no, this storm here goes behind that one, but does that one at this point here belong to that curve or does it belong to this curve?

Steve: The human eye and the human mind is just so much more tuned to this pattern recognition process.

Chris: There is a storm here which goes off and it's slower, so the angle it has on the graph is slightly less. And it seems to bend away along that sort of direction. But it's quite confusing because there's another one over the top of it here. So is that the storm? And then this one goes behind it? Or does that one come up here, or does that one go down there? All of this is very subjective.

Solar Stormwatch is brought to you by

  • Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Zooniverse