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September 25, 2011

From the Comfort of Home, Web Users May Have Found New Planets

The "Planet Hunters" are an online citizen science project with over 40,000 members. They recently announced their discovery of two new exoplanets. One of the two is a rocky planet similar to earth, however is too far to have liquid water, and thus is unlikely to have life. The Kepler team is using the Planet Hunter's findings. I find this to be an interesting article because it astonishes me that people can find planets from the comfort of the internet. By allowing anybody to analyze the data found, the Planet Hunters may be more successful than a professional team could be.

Read more here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110922093321.htm

Posted by dhurvitz at September 25, 2011 10:30 PM


I love the idea that this is a worldwide collaborative effort. I am, however, curious about what data they are using and how exactly they are analysing it? Is this analysis something that requires a relatively in depth knowledge of astronomy or it is merely looking for anomalies in data charts which might suggest a 'disturbance' in the norm?

Posted by: arevuo at September 26, 2011 09:55 PM

I think this is a good way to enhance project, because astronomers can get help and people can analyze the data freely with their interest.

Posted by: buruken at September 26, 2011 10:17 PM

I think this is a good way to enhance this project, because astronomers can get help and people interested in searching habitable planets can analyze the data freely.

Posted by: buruken at September 26, 2011 10:19 PM

development of technology makes people more accessible to the universe. now more people can find a new planet just like other astronomers.

Posted by: sangsong at September 26, 2011 11:04 PM

This is amazing to me, to figure there are planets other than the ones found in our solar system. Before even taking this class, I always thought our planets were the only ones. Extremely exciting (and spooky) that there are other solar systems complete with planets orbiting stars. This seriously brings up the question of extraterrestrial life, but probably not with these two recently discovered exoplanets (absence of liquid water).

Posted by: mhymes at September 27, 2011 03:14 PM

This is fascinating that technology from a giant organization like NASA has become available for public use and discovery. I like this idea a lot. After NASA has its shot a looking for planets from the given information from the Kepler Mission why not give the public a chance to look at it? After all it's not like these were some scrubs that found these planets. They were astronomers from Ivy League schools, very smart people. I've always agreed with the saying, "the more the merrier". And it seems to hold true here.

Posted by: sjbar at September 28, 2011 11:54 AM

That is very interesting! I think leaving the data found about other planets open to the public could foster academic collaboration and success.

Posted by: ballo at September 28, 2011 04:30 PM

This is just amazing. The fact that we are continuously locating planets outside of our own solar system. Before even taking this class, I thought the planets in our solar system were the only planets in the universe. The fact that exoplanets exist and are being discovered, truly raises the question of extraterrestrial life, a rather spooky thought at that.

Posted by: mhymes at September 30, 2011 12:17 AM

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