The new platform Planet Patrol allows civil volunteers cooperate with professional astronomers in the sorting process the huge number of shots , the collected satellite Transiting Exoplanet Survey NASA Satellite ( TESS).
You can help NASA find new worlds outside the solar system from the comfort of your home.
TESS collected hundreds of thousands of images over the course of a year, which could contain thousands of possible planets. Scientists cannot examine such a number of pictures without assistance.
Technically, the work can be automated with an algorithm trained to detect new planets. But computers aren’t perfect, the researchers say. Even the most elaborate algorithms can fail.
Planets are not the only source of light change in photographs. For example, some stars change brightness naturally. Hardware problems can also create fluctuations in brightness. Such interferences fool automated planet-finding processes. Therefore, in this work, no one can replace a person.
TESS uses four cameras to capture complete images of one area of the sky (sector) every ten minutes. As Space.com reported, on the new website volunteers will help screen out images of potential planets by answering a set of questions for each image.
Planet Patrol is not the first civilian science project to examine TESS data for exoplanets. The Oxford University Planet Hunters TESS project works towards the same goal, but analyzes the data in a different way.