Database Of Stars Released Allows Discovery Of Exoplanets Using Laptop [Video]By Eleanor Bright, UniversityHerald Reporter
Carnegie Institution for Science and MIT released February 13 huge database for stars for the public to use. The database contains information about more than 1,600 stars that are near the Solar System. The database was made public so that anyone can help in finding planets beyond the Solar System.
W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii collected the data for more than twenty years, from 1994 to 2008. One can access the database using a data processing software package. It has an online tutorial for those who need to learn how to use it.
Data collected was based on HIRES or High Resolution Echelle Spectometer. HIRES splits the light coming from the stars. This results to a rainbow of colors that can tell information about the star. It can be installed in a computer and ordinary citizens who have it can start their own search for planets found outside the Solar System.
There were just a few scientists that engage in discovering exoplanets. Seeking the help of the public in finding more alien planets will maximize the use of the data set. An MIT fellow Jennifer Burt suggested that crowd sourcing will be an effective strategy to achieve scientific pursuits, according to Tech Times.
Once a person had installed the software, he can start using it in finding planets that are located beyond the solar system. He can select a star that interests him and start studying it. This will be an opportunity for star gazers and alien planet hunters to enjoy their hobbies while sitting comfortably in front of their consoles.
Finding a small planet requires hundreds of data points to consider. This means it can take a long time to find an exoplanet. With many interested individuals doing the search, there will be a chance of increasing the number of exoplanets discovered, according to Gizmodo.
All finds will be confirmed by the team before it will be made public. With the help of anyone who have access to the data source, knowing what other worlds exist in the universe will be faster and easier.