GovLaunch: Find an Exoplanet with!

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    Shannon Kennedy

    Have you ever thought, “Hm I wish I could be like one of the great astronomists!” Ever wanted to discover scientific wonders? Enjoy star gazing?

    Planet Hunters, the latest project from the Zooniverse, is a citizen science project. The project is a collaboration between Yale University and the Zooniverse. The ultimate goal is to discovering an exoplanet.

    Participants help look through data taken by the NASA Kepler space mission. Light curve patterns help determine the possibility of the existence of a planet. The lightcurves provided on the site are from the publicly released data obtained by NASA’s Kepler mission.

    Planet Hunters was created to sift through this data with human eyes rather than a computer. According to Planet Hunters, humans have the capacity to recognize something out of the ordinary. The data is complex, therefore, scientists find it best to use the human participants.

    Not only is this beneficial for science, but it is the ultimate form of citizen engagement! The idea of ordinary people helping uncover universal phenomenons is pretty exciting! Be sure to check out Planet Hunters!

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