Gamers May Have Found Thirty-Plus Planets
Hot on the heels of the success of Foldit (which used gamers to identify how an AIDS enzyme folds) gamers may have found two new planets. Gamers, whomever that refers to, were tasked with finding new planets through a game aptly called Planet Hunters.
Essentially Planet Hunters works by taking the data that the Kepler telescope captures and piping it into the game. The game itself is about finding patterns that match potential planet transits (which is one way to discover planets).
As of this post being published the game players have found 34 potential planets with 4,235,328 observations analyzed.
After some four million games, players have discovered 69 possible new planets, which the Kepler team will now look into in more depth. Each user that helped discover the two planets has been named in the acknowledgements section of a report published in Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society.
“While the human brain is exceptionally good at detecting patterns, it is impractical for a single individual to review each of the 150,000 light curves in every quarterly release of the Kepler database,” the report reads.
No word on if they found natural palladium and element zero deposits.