BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The Australian scientists wanted to discover Planet 9, a possible ninth planet hiding in the Solar System. Thus, they asked for the help of the public in this brave quest. Now, they turned their attention to four mysterious objects which the amateur astronomers pointed to them.
Since the launch of the program on March 28th, thousands of people rushed to help the astronomers in finding Planet 9. They succeeded in spotting and classifying almost 5 million unknown cosmic objects from the Solar System.
Volunteers were of great help in the search for the new planet
Dr. Brad Tucker, one of the Australian scientists involved in the program, said that the help of the public was immense. Thanks to them, they were able to identify several areas where they could find Planet 9. He said that they achieved the impressive amount of work usually gathered during years of study in only three days.
Even if we do not have a Planet 9 yet, this project helped them find many other cosmic bodies. They discovered two dwarf planets, called Chiron and Comacina, which added up to thousands of mysterious objects. These findings are indeed things which require a thorough analysis.
New objects on the sky are also an interesting object of study
Scientists are currently looking at all these objects to establish if they are the desired Planet 9, dwarf planets, or asteroids. For this study, they make us of all telescopes present in Australia, as well as some others from around the world which can help them find the origin of the objects. Although none might be the ninth planet, they are still interesting to look at. Dr. Tucker is optimistic.
“I hope one is a dwarf planet, or what we call a trans-neutonian object, that would be really nice. They are all consistent with that but without more observation we just don’t know.”
Right now, they are using SkyMapper to look at them and locate them on the sky. SkyMapper is the program which provided all those pictures that the volunteers had to analyze. Thus, they can calculate their orbit, their path, and find what they are and where they come from.
Scientists were moved by the impressive response of the public. They did not hope that they could get through all the data in such a short time. They are extremely grateful and hope to come with great news after analyzing all the objects that people identified.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons