Find The 9th Planet: Join The Search Party & Help Arizona State UniversityBy Khaleb Skye A. Cruz
The hunt for the 9th planet in our solar system is on. Spearheaded by the Arizona State University (ASU), astronomers have organized a website called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9. Through the help of Zooniverse, people from all over the world could contribute to the massive search.
What are we looking for?
As reported by the Arizona State University Now, the collaborative effort is led by astronomer Adam Schneider. According to him, the planet is pretty much similar to the size of Neptune but 10 times heavier than Earth. Unfortunately, it may be orbiting "far out beyond the Kuiper Belt."
The Kuiper Belt is a zone of celestial bodies, often comet-like, revolving around the sun just outside the orbit of Neptune. It is somehow similar to the asteroid belt that is located between Mars and Jupiter. Their only difference is the distance from the sun.
That being said, Planet 9 poses a great challenge to mankind as lesser illumination in outer space equates to a smaller chance of success. In this case, knowing that it is even farther out than Pluto, finding the 9th planet is close to impossible. That is why ASU is asking for every help it can get. Who knows? We might be able to decrease the percentage of failure if we combine our efforts.
Second search party
Per BBC, the Australian National University (ANU) recently helped in the hunt for the elusive Planet 9. Last Sunday, ANU announced that it has partnered with the BBC Stargazing Live and will also work with Zooniverse. It launched the public online access on Monday with the first complete digital map of the southern sky.
Apparently, the link would take participants to a gallery of hundreds of thousands of pictures taken by the robotic arm of SkyMapper. For the record, SkyMapper is a 1.3-meter telescope, making it one of the most sophisticated machines ever built by man. It is situated at ANU's Siding Spring Observatory.