Volunteers Wanted for Planet Hunt
Members of the public are being asked to join the hunt for nearby planets that could support life.Volunteers can go to the Planethunters website to see time-lapsed images of 150,000 stars, taken by the Kepler space telescope. They will be advised on the signs that indicate the presence of a planet and how to alert experts if they spot them.
“We know that people will find planets that are missed by the computer,” said Chris Lintott from Oxford University. “When humans have looked at data, we know they find planets that computers can’t.”
The Kepler space telescope, launched in 2009, has been searching a part of space thought to have many stars similar to our own Sun. Its most exciting moment to date has been the discovery of Kepler 22b, a planet close in size and temperature to Earth, lying about 600 light-years away.