NASA

Citizen astronomers discover new planet that NASA algorithms missed


By analyzing its historical records, and crowdsourcing help from volunteer astronomers, a citizen team has discovered a new planet roughly twice the size of Earth.


Its discovery is particularly exciting because the planet's size (just slightly smaller than Neptune) is so rare among those beyond our solar system – known as exoplanets.


K2-288Bb is located 226 light years away, in the constellation Taurus and part of a stellar system which contains two dim stars roughly 5.1 billion miles apart.


According to the discovery's supporting paper , this star is theoretically capable of sustaining biospheres with the same productivity as Earth.


Volunteer scientists from a citizen program named Exoplanet Explorers were able to spot the planet that software algorithms had missed.


Adina Feinstein, the study's lead author, said "it took the keen eyes of citizen scientists to make this extremely valuable find and point us to it."






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