Scientists want you to help them discover new planets, here's how

New DelhiUpdated: Oct 23, 2021, 07:05 PM IST

(Image for representation) Photograph:(Others)

Story highlights

It would indeed be wonderful for anyone not trained to be an astronomer find a new planet hurtling in space right? Read on to actually know how to do this

It perhaps is a dream of all of us to find a new planet or a star. If the discovery is vital enough, they even may give the planet our name. But not all of us have the scientific know-how to actually do that and all we can do is dream.

But now in our connected world, anything is possible. And if you really want to help scientists discover a new planet, all you need is a web browser and the internet.

The mission is to observe changes in brightness of stars. If a planet comes between us and the star, the star may dim in a certain way indicating presence of the planet.

There is a lot of data to sift through. The images and data has been captured by NGTS telescopes based at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Paranal Observatory in Chile.

The NGTS telescope captures images of thousands of stars in the space.

So why don't our softwares find the planets? Astronomers have been quoted in media reports as saying that current softwares do not capture the dimming effectively. They may miss a dimming star or falsely report presence of a planet. That's where volunteers come in.

If you are interested, you can head to Planet Hunters NGST page to get started. And if you think all the exercise is futile, remember that a mechanic in Australia has already found an unusual four-planet solar system.