Are you curious about what’s out there in our universe? Have you been wanting to do your own astronomical research? Has it been a dream of yours to discover a new planet? Fear no more! A team of astronomers led by MIT and the Carnegie Institution for Science is now giving the public the opportunity to engage in research of exoplanets, or planets that orbit stars outside the solar system.
The team recently released data they compiled over the last 20 years, a software package, and a tutorial to the public. The data set includes information about 1600 nearby stars and 100 possible exoplanets those stars may be hosting. The team believes they don’t have enough scientists on the job, so they want to include the public in this exciting mission to find these exoplanets. I think this community based, hands-on learning initiative is a great way to foster the public’s interest in astronomy. So what are you waiting for? Let’s find some exoplanets!