NASA needs your help, and it’s not a joke! NASA has created a public-infused effort to browse through their massive number of short films to help them find new, mysterious planets.
From their very own “Planet 9” website: “Is there a large planet at the fringes of our solar system awaiting discovery, a world astronomers call Planet Nine?”
“We’re looking for this planet and for new brown dwarfs in the backyard of the solar system using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. But we need your help! Finding these dim objects requires combing through the images by eye to distinguish moving celestial bodies from ghosts and other artifacts. There are too many images for us to search through by ourselves. So come join the search, and you might find a rogue world that’s nearer to the Sun than Proxima Centauri—or even the elusive Planet Nine.”
The project is actually quite simple in concept, but innovative in its approach. After all, how many times has NASA asked you for help in the past? Exactly! But the universe is incredibly vast and wide, not to mention full of undiscovered mysteries.
As a “citizen scientist,” you will become a part of a public online search team. To date, public researchers such as yourself have been quite successful, having located “distant galaxies and discovered gravitation lenses.”
Starting now, you can rummage through this footage (there is an actual process that is very easy to understand) simply by saying “Yes! I’ll help!” You will search for galaxies and what they refer to as” brown dwarfs,” which were recently added to their scientific gift registry if you will.
The brown dwarf search is new, and according to the Astrophysical Journal Letters, crowdsourced searching is a fairly new way of researching and filtering down what only a few contracted experts would otherwise be able to do.
Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 is a NASA-funded website that has accumulated Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission images. Just log on to http://www.backyardworlds.org to get started.Who knows? You may provide a crucial piece of information that could, quite franky, change the world. And for that matter, other worlds as well.
Astronomer Jackie Faherty from the American Museum of Natural History explained the new sought entity called brown dwarfs: “They’re sometimes called failed stars,” Faherty said. “But I don’t like using the word ‘failure’ in the title, so sometimes I call them overexcited planets.” Very optimistic, Jackie! More volunteers are needed, so feel free to jump right in!