By Mark Prigg. A team of amateur astronomers from around the world has discovered evidence for 42 alien planets, including a Jupiter-size world that could potentially be habitable, it was revealed today. The team, organised online via the planethunters website, analysed data from Nasa's Kepler Space telescope. An artist's impression of of the view from a moon orbiting the planet PH2b. Scientists says Moons like the one depicted in the film Avatar may be among the most common places to find alien life,.
Once the strongest candidates are identified, professional Satanic erotica take a look at them. Hurry Before It's Gone! Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The atmospheric temperature on the planet would range between 86 and minus degrees Fahrenheit 30 and minus 88 degrees Celsius in the habitable zone. These candidates Amateur finding planet awaiting confirmation by professional astronomers. The team, organised online via the planethunters website, analysed data from Nasa's Kepler Space telescope.
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A team of amateurs has discovered evidence for 42 alien planets, including a Jupiter-size world that could potentially be habitable, by sifting through data from a NASA spacecraft.
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Over the past decade, scientists have found evidence of hundreds of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. A group of volunteers has also joined the search, and they have found several additional planets that initially fell through the cracks. Exoplanets can be detected through a variety of ways, and scientists have increasingly looked for small, regularly repeating dips in light from a star-- a sign of planets passing in front of, or transiting, their home star.
This same phenomenon happened in our own solar system earlier this month when Earth-based viewers saw Venus transit the sun for the last time this century. But the sheer number of exoplanets means there's plenty of transits to track; consequently, scientists have acquired huge amounts of data to process. Called Planet Hunters , the project has led to the discovery of several new planets while also confirming many findings made by Kepler scientists.
Most recently, 24, of the volunteers helped find seven more exoplanets that computer algorithms initially missed. Although updated data-processing algorithms detected these planets, scientists working to refine the algorithms have found the citizen volunteers' contributions invaluable.
More importantly, it's having a real scientific impact," said Thomas Barclay, a research scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center who works on the algorithms used to find exoplanets with Kepler data. After a brief tutorial, Planet Hunter volunteers can peruse light curves -- graphs of a star's light intensity -- with 30 days of Kepler data on the project's website. When enough planet hunters flag a potential planet candidate, the project scientists review this pared down data before formally recognizing a new alien world.
Although planet candidates detected by algorithms are eventually scrutinized visually, relying entirely on visual detection from the beginning has its advantages. Planet Hunters can identify planets with subtle orbital meanderings that may fly under a computer program's radar. For instance, neighboring planets can tug on an exoplanet, leading to slight changes in its orbit around a star, and algorithms might miss this difference.
Also, planets revolving around binary stars -- a set of two stars that orbit each other -- can be easier to detect by sight rather than with algorithms. Even the relatively untrained eye can be an effective planet detector.
Volunteers of all ages have contributed to the Planet Hunters project, including participants as young as To test the efficiency of the planet hunters, the project leaders injected simulated exoplanet transits into the Planet Hunters datasets, unbeknownst to the volunteers. While the citizen scientists found most large exoplanets, they had more difficulty detecting smaller Earth-sized planets. As scientists and citizens both race to find exoplanets with similar sizes and orbits to Earth, they'll be using a variety of methods.
Before scientists detected the first transiting exoplanet in , they looked for slight wobbles in distant stars that indicated a planet was exerting a very small gravitational pull, and this method has remained popular.
Telescopes can now directly image exoplanets as well, and this method will become more important in coming years according to Jonathan Fortney, an exoplanet researcher at the University of California Santa Cruz. Even if new detection methods flourish, however, Fortney believes Planet Hunters will continue to contribute valuable findings. Regardless of the method used, scientists are anxiously awaiting confirmation of a cosmic home away from home.
Planet Hunters may not be the first group to find a truly Earth-like planet outside of our solar system, but scientists are using every tool available. More from Astronomy and Astrophysics. Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors.
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Share Twit Share Email. June 13, The field of view for the Kepler spacecraft, which is collecting data for the search for exoplanets. Explore further. Journal information: Astrophysical Journal. Source: Inside Science News Service. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
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NASA The skeptical reader might wonder why we need any other planet-hunting techniques when Kepler does the job so well. A group of guys riding along on four-wheelers saw an interesting creature crossing the stream in front of them and caught it on camera. Before they set out, they get a real taste of what it's like driving on the other side of the road Exoplanet Project - Part Two. This is an artist's concept of a hot-Jupiter exoplanet transiting its star. Could it be a Squatch? IMDb Everywhere.
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Systemic (amateur extrasolar planet search project) - Wikipedia
By Mark Prigg. A team of amateur astronomers from around the world has discovered evidence for 42 alien planets, including a Jupiter-size world that could potentially be habitable, it was revealed today. The team, organised online via the planethunters website, analysed data from Nasa's Kepler Space telescope. An artist's impression of of the view from a moon orbiting the planet PH2b.
Scientists says Moons like the one depicted in the film Avatar may be among the most common places to find alien life,. Moons like the one depicted in the film Avatar may be among the most common places to find alien life, scientists believe. Astronomers came to the conclusion after identifying up to 15 new planets orbiting the life-friendly 'habitable zones' of stars.
All are giant gaseous worlds similar in size to Jupiter or Neptune. While such planets would not themselves be suitable for Earth-like life, they could be circled by moons on which there are forests, oceans and living creatures, researchers now believe. Pandora, the fictional moon in Avatar, is just such a world. So far only one of the 15 newly discovered objects has been confirmed as an exoplanet with The rest still fall into the category of 'candidate' planets while further evidence is collected.
The confirmed planet, known as PH2 b, orbits a sun-like star in the constellation Cygnus several hundred light years away. Astronomer Dr Chris Lintott, from Oxford University, a member of the international team behind the discovery, said: 'There's an obsession with finding Earth-like planets but what we are discovering with planets such as PH2 b is far stranger.
Imaging dragging that system into the comfortably warm region where the Earth is. James Cameron's Avatar was set on a moon filled with lush forests - and researchers say it could be more real than its director thought.
Members of the public helped astronomers identify the candidate exoplanets by logging onto the planethunters. The Planet Hunters project invites 'citizen scientists' to spot graph patterns signifying the tell-tale dip in brightness as planets pass in front of their parent stars.
Follow-up work with the Keck telescope in Hawaii provided the proof that PH2 b is almost certainly a genuine planet. More than 40 volunteers are credited in a paper on the research published online by the Astrophysical Journal. One, retired police office Roy Jackson, 71, from Birtley near Gateshead, said: 'It is difficult to put into words, the pleasure, wonderment and perhaps even pride that I have in some small way been able to assist in the discovery of a planet.
Another, electronics engineer Mark Hadley from Faversham, said: 'Now when people ask me what I achieved last year I can say I have helped discover a possible new planet around a distant star. How cool is that? Planet Hunters lead scientist Professor Debra Fisher, from Yale University in the US, said: 'We are seeing the emergence of a new era in the Planet Hunters project where our volunteers seem to be at least as efficient as the computer algorithms at finding planets orbiting at habitable zone distances from the host stars.
Avatar featured a world with an entirely alien ecosystem - and experts now say that moon like Pandora could be the best place to look for alien life. Before the latest finds, 19 other exoplanets had already been located in habitable zones. Also known as the 'Goldilocks zone', this is the orbital path where temperatures are not too hot or cold but "just right" to permit liquid surface water.
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