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NASA Announces the First Multi-Planet System Discovered Entirely Through Crowdsourcing

Friday, January 12, 2018 15:17
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K2-138 could even have more than five planets. [image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]

And it’s a good one. The abstract says: ‘The periods of the five planets are 2.35, 3.56, 5.40, 8.26, and 12.76 days, forming an unbroken chain of near 3:2 resonances.’

The Exoplanet Explorers project has led to the first discovery of a multi-planet system solely through crowdsourcing efforts, as Futurism reports.

Through a project called Exoplanet Explorers, a band of citizen scientists has discovered K2-138, a far-off planetary system that houses least five exoplanets.

This is the first time that a multi-planet system has been discovered entirely through crowdsourcing.

UC Santa Cruz astronomer Ian Crossfield and Caltech staff scientist Jessie Christiansen launched the Exoplanet Explorers project on the online platform Zooniverse in 2017. The project gives volunteers the ability to sift through data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope for signs of exoplanets.

“People anywhere can log on and learn what real signals from exoplanets look like, and then look through actual data collected from the Kepler telescope to vote on whether or not to classify a given signal as a transit, or just noise,” said Christiansen in a Caltech news release.

“We have each potential transit signal looked at by a minimum of 10 people, and each needs a minimum of 90 percent of ‘yes’ votes to be considered for further characterization,” she added.

In April 2017, the Exoplanet Explorers project was featured on the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) program Stargazing Live. On the final night of the three-day event, citizen scientists uncovered K2-138.

Originally thought to be a four-planet system, it has since been upgraded to a five-planet system. Eventually, more planets could be discovered orbiting the system’s star.

Continued here.



Source: https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/nasa-announces-the-first-multi-planet-system-discovered-entirely-through-crowdsourcing/

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