Science

In Search Of ‘Planet 9’, NASA Wants Your Help; Details Inside

By Cyril , Feb 18, 2017 02:58 AM EST
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Since Pluto has been considered to have been demoted as a dwarf planet in 2006, astronomers have been eager to find Planet 9, which is known for being an elusive world predicted to be floating somewhere around the edge of our solar system. Now, NASA authorities have recently announced that the space agency is currently on the move of looking to fulfill an amateur astronomer's dream by being credited for the discovery of a new planet. It is said that with the help of a new website, and through the project Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, people are now able to have a glimpse footage captured by the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission which, in turn, shows objects gradually moving across the sky.

The Search For 'Planet 9'

According to reports revealed by The New York Post Online, Planet 9, being considered as currently hypothetical Neptune-sized planet is orbiting about 19 billion miles away from the sun, and NASA wants your help finding it. It is said that NASA's space telescope has allegedly delivered the most comprehensive views of the world beyond Neptune's orbit, and NASA compiled them all into "flipbook" movies that participants can scan. NASA experts believe that the human eye does have the ability to easily recognize the important moving objects while ignoring the background stars and other objects that computer programs would flag.

Furthermore, in one of his statements revealed by USA Today, Aaron Meisner, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in analyzing WISE images, said that the search for Planet 9 has the potential to unlock once-in-a-century discoveries, and it's exciting to think they could be spotted first by a citizen scientist. On the other hand, lead researcher Marc Kuchner, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has added that there are just over four light-years between Neptune and Proxima Centauri, which is its nearest star, and much of this vast territory is still unexplored . Thus, NASA said that if an average citizen spots something that leads to a discovery, he or she will get shared credit with the professional astronomers.

Evidence For Planet 9's Existence

Meanwhile, it was found that astronomers have been presenting the evidence of the existence of icy Planet 9 since January 2016. NASA researchers estimate that the planet takes between 10,000 and 20,000 years to complete a full rotation around the sun, and its possible existence is based off signals from the Kuiper belt. Ultimately, NASA said the search for Planet 9 is a 21st-century version of the technique astronomer Clyde Tombaugh had used in finding Pluto in 1930, a discovery that has been made exactly 87 years ago.

              

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