Planet Hunters is a citizen science project where site visitors can help to sieve through data taken by the NASA Kepler space mission. These data consist of brightness measurements, or “light curves,” taken every thirty minutes for more than 150,000 stars. Users search for possible transit events — a brief dip in brightness that occurs when a planet passes in front of the star — with the goal of discovering a planet. The project’s first paper, Fischer, et al. 2011, ‘Planet Hunters: The First Two Planet Candidates Identified by the Public using the Kepler Public Archive Data‘ was published in September, and two more papers have recently been submitted: Schwamb, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: Assessing the Kepler Inventory of Short Period Planets‘ and Lintott, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: New planet candidates from the first year of analysis.‘ So far, over 10 million light curves have been classified by more than 100,000 users. To join the hunt, visit http://bit.ly/xh9kit.
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