UC Berkeley, NASA looking for citizen scientists to help find Planet 9


Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 will allow users to search the data for objects in and beyond our solar system that have not yet been discovered.

He hopes that the Backyard Worlds search will turn up a new nearest neighbor to our sun.

According to CNN, NASA believes there is a new ninth planet.

Infrared images from WISE cover the entire sky about six times over, allowing researchers to search for faint, glowing objects.

'There are just over four light-years between Neptune and Proxima Centauri, the nearest star, and much of this vast territory is unexplored, ' said lead researcher Marc Kuchner, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. These emit very little light at visible wavelengths, but instead glow dimly with infrared - heat - radiation.

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Research group Zooniverse said stargazers will need to sift through lots of false positives, which are not real objects in space. Physicist Aaron Meisner, an expert at analyzing images captured by WISE, has come up with a way to use computers to search for these objects, but he said such automated searches will not work in some regions of the sky.

The WISE telescope scanned the entire sky between 2010 and 2011, producing the most comprehensive survey at mid-infrared wavelengths now available.

"This program offers an excellent opportunity for citizen scientists to help astronomers with an edge-of-discovery search", said Schneider.

Consequently, it was renamed the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE). The participants are expected to search for disruptions in the images to detect signs of a planet. If Planet Nine-also known as Planet X-exists and is as bright as some predictions, it could show up in WISE data.

"Brown dwarfs form like stars but evolve like planets, and the coldest ones are much like Jupiter", said team member Jackie Faherty, an astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History in NY. Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, astronomers from California Institute of Technology, found indirect evidence of the existence of the still-unseen planet.

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Want to find a new planet?

Astronomers believe that the orbits of a number of bodies in the distant reaches of the solar system have been disrupted by the pull of an as yet unidentified planet. The best way to discover them is through a systematic search of moving objects in WISE images. But, WISE images can help scientists detect even the faintest stars. He discovered dwarf planet Pluto 87 years ago this week, on February 18, 1930.

Above: Previously known brown dwarf WISE 0855-0714 is seen here in this Backyard World flipbook as a moving orange dot at upper left. By viewing movies like this, anyone can help discover more of these objects.

These are short animations that show how small patches of the sky changed over several years.

Participants will win a share of the credit in any scientific discoveries that the project brings to light.

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A citizen scientist project called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9" asks armchair astronomers to browse through images from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and look for evidence of Planet Nine.