Scientists ask people to help find the right signals. If you've ever wanted
to explore faraway worlds, now's the time. The team behind the constellation of planet-searching telescopes called Survey Transit Generation Next-Generation (NGTS) is looking for help with the large amounts of data from this instrument. NGTS scans large areas of the sky with a series of small robotic telescopes to detect the light falling on stars due to the passage of a planet between the stars and Earth.
The team currently has a lot of data they've checked with computers. But computers have a hard time detecting potential planets from different sources of noise, so researchers are urging people to recheck the computers and make the final connection with the signal.
One of the most successful search engines for extrasolar planets has been the transit method, in which the telescope repeatedly monitors the amount of light emitted by the star. Slowly if a planet orbits in front of this star, the amount of light decreases slightly. If you plot them over time in a so-called light curve, these slopes will be very typical, with a relatively steep dip as the planet orbits in front of the star, followed by a long, flat dip.Zoom / Before you start, there are tutorials that show you all the different and the options. You have to define
adIs this a U or V curve? With relatively little data, it is difficult to detect.
You should also check if the light curve has a flat or V-shaped screen. This is more difficult than it might seem because NGTS does not have the same firing frequency as neatly arranged Kepler curves. Instead, as we saw above, the curve has fewer individual data points and the atmosphere in between is more dispersed.
But don't worry about making a mistake. Previous Zooniverse projects usually had multiple volunteers scanning each photo to make sure it didn't affect anyone's judgment. And anything that looks interesting is eventually explored by someone who does astronomy for a living.
Zooniverse wants to turn you into a planet hunter
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