NASA launched Planet Patrol, a “citizen science platform” a website, which allows members of the public to collaborate with professional astronomers to sort through a stock of star images collected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to detect signals from planets and erroneous signals that do not correspond to planets.

“The human eye is extremely good at spotting impostors, and we need citizen scientists to help us distinguish between lookalikes and real planets” explicitly Veselin Kostov, researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, in California.

The TESS, explains NASA, uses its four cameras to take full images of a patch of sky, called sector, all the 10 minutes for one month at a time. This long gaze allows TESS to see when the planets pass their stars, or transit, and dim their light. Over the course of a year, TESS collects hundreds of thousands of photos, each containing thousands of possible planets – too much for scientists to examine without help.

The public is invited to answer a series of questions for each of the images. – does it contain multiple light sources or does it look like stray light rather than starlight. These questions help researchers narrow the list of possible planets for further follow-up study.

And this kind of collaboration between the public and scientists works. NASA gives an example : “A Goddard summer intern recently helped discover the TESS mission's first planet orbiting two stars through another citizen science program called Planet Hunters TESS , managed by l’ Oxford University .


NASA, Planet, Exoplanet, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, Star

World news – FR – NASA invites the general public to help him find new planets by studying photos

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