Be A Planet Hunter – Help NASA Find New Planets Using Kepler Data

Be a Planet Hunter!  Help NASA find new planets by using Kepler mission data.

The Planet Hunters website lets you be part of the discovery! The Kepler mission data includes brightness measurements, or “light curves,” taken every thirty minutes for more than 150,000 stars.  You, working as a planet hunter, will use the interface on the Planet Hunters website to find the points where star brightness changes.  Transit events – a brief changes in a star’s brightness – occur when planets pass in front of a star.  Find a dip in a star’s spark and you could point to a new planet!

The project’s first paper, Fischer, et al. 2011, ‘Planet Hunters: The First Two Planet Candidates Identified by the Public using the Kepler Public Archive Data‘ was published in September, and two more papers have recently been submitted: Schwamb, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: Assessing the Kepler Inventory of Short Period Planets‘ and Lintott, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: New planet candidates from the first year of analysis.

So far, over 10 million light curves have been classified by more than 100,000 users. To join the hunt, visit http://www.planethunters.org/

If you enjoy helping in the search for new planets, you may also want to help with the other exciting projects at Zooniverse: http://www.zooniverse.org/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: