How to Find Planet Nine in Three Simple Steps
On future job resumes, how would you like to list, “discovered ninth planet?” Besides, wouldn’t you feel wonderful knowing you’ve earned a place in scientific history? Then, NASA has some very hopeful news for you! Enlisting the public’s help, NASA wants you to hunt an undiscovered ninth planet. Plus, you have an opportunity to discover other cosmic objects along the way. Without further ado, Astronimate shows you how to find planet nine in three steps!
Planet Nine: A brief rundown
First, here is a video NASA released this week, promoting the unprecedented contest:
Through precise calculations, astronomers strongly believe a ninth planet lurks in our solar system. First of all, aptly named Planet Nine may be ten times Earth’s Mass. Not to mention, it orbits 20 times father out than Neptune, in the Kuiper Belt.
Actually, odd orbits of several small Kuiper Belt objects first hinted at the planet’s presence. Plus, several objects orbit on the same plane, which is far different than the plane of our other eight planets. Essentially, a large planet’s gravity could likely cause such affects.
Finally, chances of such affects simply happening based on luck are around 0.007%. In other words, Planet Nine is highly likely to actually exist. Ok, how can you find Planet nine?
How to Find Planet Nine: Step One
First, visit www.backyardworlds.org via computer, or mobile devices. Next, either register your account, or sign in to your existing account. Technically, accounts aren’t required, but highly recommended. After all, should you locate a new planet, you will want your name attached to it!
Finally, click “Get Started,” in the homepage’s center. Now, you’ll walk through a simple, and helpful tutorial covering how to use the site. Over all, both sign up and walkthrough should take no more than five minutes.
How to Find Planet Nine: Step Two
At last, your hunt begins!
Basically, hunters view very short videos, consisting of only four slides, called flipbooks. Flipbooks contain Kuiper Belt surveys, taken by NASA’s WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer).
Each flipbook plays as a movie, or viewed by individual still images. Simple, right? However, Kuiper Belt objects lie billions of miles away. Also, WISE uses infrared vision, based on heat. Therefore, images look quite different than normal human-friendly light! As a result, movies and images look something like this:
How to Find Planet Nine: Step Three
Finally, you begin identifying potential planets. However, asteroids and other items may also be discovered!
Simply put, hunters seek two objects, dipoles and movers (examples below). Firstly, dipoles are slow moving objects. Next, movers typically zip across the frames. Finally, spiky objects may also appear in frames, these are distant stars. Basically, hunters are urged to ignore stars.
Next, tap specific frame locations to log, or identify potential objects! As a result, green crosshairs appear, marking the desired spot. Also, hunters may move or delete crosshairs to perfectly align your finds.
Importantly, true potential candidates should appear in at least three of four frames. Therefore, you’ll identify an object in all frames in which it appears. Finally, click “done” to submit finds.
You’ve hunted, now what?
After hunting the skies to your heart’s content, what happens next? Now, NASA begins reviewing contributions. Ultimately, should you discover something great, NASA contacts you.
Plus, Planet Nine’s discover would certainly become global news. Therefore, your name will be included in resulting articles, news and most other publications! In other words, you will become world famous over night!
Finally, public-involved contests by NASA are both rare and groundbreaking. So, imagine the coverage that such an event would receive should it lead to a new planet! Basically, a few mindless hours on your couch could place your picture in every science textbook for the next century. Not a bad deal!