How to Discover Planet Nine?

This is how you find the ninth planet.

NASA provides you with everything you need.

So if you want to know how to find planet nine, then this article is for you.

Let’s get going!

Table of Contents

How to Find the Ninth Planet

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, this article shows you how to find planet nine in three steps!

Planet Nine: A Brief Rundown

First, here is a video NASA released, 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 maybe ten times Earth’s Mass. 

Not to mention, it orbits 20 times farther out than Neptune in the Kuiper Belt.

The orbit of planet nine.

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. So, essentially, a large planet’s gravity could likely cause such effects.

Finally, the chances of such effects simply happening based on luck is around 0.007%. In other words, Planet Nine is highly likely to actually exist. 

Ok, how can you find Planet nine?

#1 How to Find Planet Nine: Step One

First, visit zooniverse.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. 

Overall, both signup and walkthrough should take no more than five minutes.

#2 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:

#3 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 overnight.

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.