Here’s YOUR chance to help find a hidden planet!
Ever since a study last year claimed that there was a high chance of a planet lurking beyond Neptune and Pluto, the world has been waiting for updates on “Planet 9”. But it’s now in YOUR hands to end the wait – the Australian National University is involving people like you and me to look at images and help find this mystery planet.
Astrophysicist Brad Tucker from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics is leading the project, which is being launched by professor Brian Cox during a BBC Stargazing Live broadcast from ANU. The project is being funded by NASA through the Science Innovation Fund, another (literally) stellar example of cross-border collaboration. The images are from ANU’s SkyMapper telescope, and the scientists believe that enthusiasts are just as likely as them to find something of significance. The stars and galaxies are in black and white, whereas moving objects are colour-coded, making it easier for eyeballs to spot objects.
On the Backyard Worlds blog, Aaron Meisner says:
“In the search for rare moving objects, professional astronomers often painstakingly blink through thousands or even millions of images by eye. Having a team of citizen scientists look through the WISE images will help make sure that no brown dwarf or ninth planet in this data set evades discovery.”
The search for the planet involves scanning through thousands of images to spot moving celestial bodies. The more people scanning the images, the better!
We at Kolabtree are thrilled to see more and more citizen science projects being implemented, which we believe will pave the way for breakthrough innovations and discoveries.
Go ahead, get involved here!