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posted by Fnord666 on Friday January 12, @10:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the stargazing dept.

Multi-planet System Found Through Crowdsourcing

A system of at least five exoplanets has been discovered by citizen scientists through a project called Exoplanet Explorers, part of the online platform Zooniverse, using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope. This is the first multi-planet system discovered entirely through crowdsourcing. A study describing the system has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

Thousands of citizen scientists got to work on Kepler data in 2017 when Exoplanet Explorers launched. It was featured on a program called Stargazing Live on the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). On the final night of the three-day program, researchers announced the discovery of a four-planet system. Since then, they have named it K2-138 and determined that it has a fifth planet -- and perhaps even a sixth, according to the new paper.

Zooniverse. Also at Caltech and SpaceRef.

The K2-138 System: A Near-resonant Chain of Five Sub-Neptune Planets Discovered by Citizen Scientists (open, DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aa9be0) (DX) (arXiv)


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:06PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:06PM (#621596)

    Indeed. What is a "Citizen"? How does it relate to, say, "Civilian"?

    What are the relationships of those words to this one particular organization that calls itself "Government"? Why should every person be classified in relation to that one particular organization?

    There's an air of religion in all of this. I can smell it, and it stinks.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Friday January 12, @11:50PM (8 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 12, @11:50PM (#621617)

    I think it was a substitute for a journalist who didn't want to write "Amateur".
    There are professional scientists (i.e. it's their job), and there are amateurs.

    But don't let me get in the way of SN's outrage.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:55PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:55PM (#621618)

      Sure, mentally substitute "Amateur" if you wish, but it's still the fact that someone chose to us the word "Citizen" as a synonym for "Amateur".

      That's worth discussing.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @12:12AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @12:12AM (#621622)

        Unfortunately that question remains answered. It is science done using excel spreadsheets that you email to a REAL™ scientist when you are done.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @12:27AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @12:27AM (#621626)

          Unfortunately that question remains answered. It is science done using excel spreadsheets that you email to a REAL™ scientist when you are done.

          Einstein spent how long double checking relativity? Even if he had been wrong, it would still be science wouldn't it? Perhaps he should have passed his hypothesis to a REAL™ scientist and had figure them it out? Either way, you're a moron!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @01:25AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @01:25AM (#621633)

            Einstein spent how long double checking relativity?

            If he were a REAL™ scientist I can't imagine that would be more than 10-15 minutes. That is all the time I've ever required before moving on to the next topic to master.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @01:30AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @01:30AM (#621634)

            Really I'm just parodying some people I've interacted with who didn't think it was "scientific" enough to input data into excel (if only they knew...).

            Also, the "citizen" label is quite creepy. Once you've seen it from the inside you realize "pro" science is >99% BS at this point anyway though.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday January 13, @02:09AM (2 children)

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday January 13, @02:09AM (#621642) Journal

        There is clearly something different from discovering a planet using your backyard telescope to classifying millions of images with thousands of other people, handed to you by a research team and their algorithm.

        If you don't like the branding, stay salty.

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @03:24AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @03:24AM (#621672)

          Why "CITIZEN"?

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Saturday January 13, @03:43AM

            by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday January 13, @03:43AM (#621679) Journal

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_science [wikipedia.org]

            Citizen science (CS; also known as community science, crowd science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring or networked science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur (or nonprofessional) scientists. Citizen science is sometimes described as "public participation in scientific research", participatory monitoring and participatory action research.

            https://www.citizensciencealliance.org [citizensciencealliance.org]

            The CSA is a collaboration of scientists, software developers and educators who collectively develop, manage and utilise internet-based citizen science projects in order to further science itself, and the public understanding of both science and of the scientific process. These projects use the time, abilities and energies of a distributed community of citizen scientists who are our collaborators.

            Our projects live within the ‘Zooniverse’, the home of Citizen Science on the web. Each is inspired by a science team who provide the initial ideas, the reassurance that what we’re doing can make a real contribution and an audience who are willing to use the end result. We are working with a wide variety of partners, from classicists to climate scientists and ecologists to planetary scientists.

            https://www.citizensciencealliance.org/philosophy.html [citizensciencealliance.org]

            In the early years of this data flood, researchers were able to cope by recruiting more willing collaborators and students, but in many fields this proved to be only a stopgap. We need a much larger workforce than any academic department can provide. Luckily, the web provides a means of reaching a much larger audience, willing to devote their free time to projects which can add to our knowledge of the world and the Universe.

            We call this method of involving the public ‘citizen science’

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