NASA thinks there’s another planet beyond Neptune (not Pluto), and they’re asking for help locating it. Matt Hoffman reports.
Think you can find Planet 9? A new citizen-science project lets participants search for hidden solar system objects beyond the orbit of Neptune, where a possible ninth planet may lie.
The Zooniverse website enlists the public’s help in performing scientific research. For example, the Planet Hunters project looked for signs of alien planets transiting their parent stars. The Zooniverse projects now span a wide range of topics, from space to literature.
For this project, participants are asked to look through data collected by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and help to separate real objects from system artifacts that can look like real objects (false positives). Citizen scientists will look for spots of light that move across the sky, signaling that those points of light are objects relatively close to Earth compared to the background stars. [The Evidence for ‘Planet Nine’ in Images (Gallery)]