Regular people using the internet to search for missing jet - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Regular people using the internet to search for missing jet

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(CBS 8) - The Chinese government has released satellite images of what it says could potentially be the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Until that's confirmed, the massive search for the airliner continues, and millions of people around the world are pitching in to help.

Newly released photos of three suspected floating objects may turn out to be the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The Chinese government put out the satellite images on Wednesday afternoon, although they were captured on Sunday.

Coordinates place it northeast of where the flight took off in Kuala Lumpur. Search crews will have to verify in person before an official announcement is made.

Agonizing concern from family members of the 239 people aboard the flight has grown over more than four days. The search area expanded Wednesday to an area the size of the state of Indiana.

But what if another big break in the international mystery came from a regular person's click of the mouse?

Digital Globe is a Colorado-based earth imagery company that's using two of its satellites to create a virtual search party. More than 100,000 people an hour are scouring the gulf of Thailand via pinpoint images taken from space.

The website is tomnod.com, and it became so popular that its servers temporarily crashed on Monday.

"We realized that there were so many pixels that we just needed help to look through it all," a site spokesman said.

With such a massive multinational search - the digital globe teams welcomes more help. The areas with the most activity will be forwarded to authorities if the objects in the Chinese satellite image are a false alarm.

"In many cases the areas covered are so large or the things we're looking for are so hard to find that without the help of hundreds of thousands of people online, we'd never be able to find them," tomnod.com's spokesman said.

Unfortunately the tomnod.com website doesn't allow the public to input coordinates, so we are unable to view the objects through the site.

Still, 2 million people have logged on this week to try and help find the wreckage.

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