Project ‘Planet Nine’ brings a good news for Amateur astronomers. Rejoice as now you will get an opportunity to help researchers discover ‘Planet 9’ under a project, scientists have said. For those who are unaware, ‘Planet 9’ is an elusive cosmic body which scientists believe exists in our solar system.
Under the ‘Planet 9’ project, the citizen scientists will be given a chance to use a website to search hundreds of thousands of pictures taken by the Australian National University (ANU) SkyMapper telescope at Siding Spring.
Researchers said that the SkyMapper will click 36 pictures of each part of the southern sky, which is relatively unexplored, and detect the changes taking place within the universe.
“We have the potential to find a new planet in our Solar System that no human has ever seen in our two-million-year history,” said Brad Tucker from ANU.
“Planet 9 is predicted to be a super Earth, about 10 times the mass and up to four times the size of our planet. It’s going to be cold and far away, and about 800 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. It’s pretty mysterious,” Tucker said.
Volunteers would need to scan through the SkyMapper images online to find out the difference and are also expected to find and identify other mystery objects in space, including asteroids, comets and dwarf planets like Pluto, researchers said.
“It’s actually not that complicated to find Planet 9. It really is spot the difference. Then you just click on the image, mark what is different and we’ll take care of the rest,” Tucker said.
Volunteers will also be allowed to name the asteroid or object found although not after themselves. Still cool!
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“Modern computers could not match the passion of millions of people.It will be through all our dedication that we can find Planet 9 and other things that move in space,” Tucker said.