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NASA seeks help from public in search of new planets

NASA seeks help from public in search of new planets
Posted at 10:20 AM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 13:41:53-04

You can help NASA discover new planets.

On Wednesday, the agency announced its new website called Planet Patrol, where astronomers can hunt down new worlds, with the public's help.

NASA said they’d sort through images collected by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS for short.

“Automated methods of processing TESS data sometimes fail to catch imposters that look like exoplanets,” said project leader Veselin Kostov in a press release. “The human eye is extremely good at spotting such imposters, and we need citizen scientists to help us distinguish between the look-alikes and genuine planets.”

TESS captured hundreds of thousands of snapshots over a year, but scientists need help because there are too many pictures to examine.

Kostov said that computers are excellent at analyzing data, but sometimes fail to determine potential planets from fakes.

Participants will answer questions as they sift through the images to help Kostov and his team of researchers narrow down the list of potential planets.