NASA Wants You To Find Planet 9

Posted: Feb 16 2017, 4:16am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

NASA Wants You to Find Planet 9
A very blue Neptune-like planet, dubbed Planet 9, may be lurking dozens of times further from the sun than Pluto, as depicted in this artist’s rendering. Citizen scientists who join the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project may be the first to spot it. Credit: NASA

New citizen science project would encourage people find planet 9

NASA and UC Berkeley announced that they need public to help them hunt certain planets and fade stars around our solar system.

NASA recently launched a new website, Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 that will allow public to explore space for different objects. A recent image of Neptune taken by WISE shows a fade object behind that might be a distant planet around the sun.

WISE took the image covering a large area of the sky that helped astronomers detect faint stars that shift their position from time to time. The detected glowing objects could be planets around the earth. Glowing objects are expected to be very large just like Neptune or small like brown dwarfs.

UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Aaron Meisner, a physicist who specializes in analyzing WISE images explored the images, but liked NASA’s idea of involving public to explore WISE images which are in millions. Both NASA and UC Berkeley and other collaborators launched the search project of planet and brown dwarf on Feb 15.

Computer’s automated results are not that effective in detecting faint stars, especially in certain regions on sky, like the areas around Milky Way galaxy, because it has cluster of stars that makes the search difficult. Meisner thinks that online volunteers would perhaps be lucky in detecting new planets due to their fast brains.

The distant planet from earth is Neptune and the closest planet is Proxima Centuari that is not much explored yet, because it has less sunlight and the objects become fade due to sun’s light, said Kuchner, the lead researcher and an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. But, WISE images can help scientists detect even the faintest stars.

Scientists are still discussing the fact that there is planet 9, however could not prove it. But, the recent project would help them find new planets and stars around our solar system.

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