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Distant, possibly habitable planet seen by the citizen scientists

connectVideoDistant, potentially habitable planet has been discovered by scientists citizen

A distant and potentially habitable planet was discovered by “scientists”.

Citizen scientists unveiled, a distant exoplanet that is believed to be about twice the size of Earth and within its star’s habitable zone.

The exoplanet, with the name Q2-288Bb, either a rocky world like Earth or a gas-rich planet like Neptune. Using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, the new world was found 226 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Taurus, according to a statement from NASA.

“It is a very exciting discovery by the manner in which it was found [and] the moderate job and because planets of this size appear to be relatively rare,” Adina Feinstein, a University of Chicago graduate student and lead author of the study, said in the statement. Feinstein presented the finding of Jan. 7 at the American Astronomical Society’s winter meeting in Seattle. [The Most Fascinating Exoplanets 2018]

The new world is located in a stellar system called K2-288, including two in a dim, cool M-type stars that is roughly 5.1 billion km (8.2 billion kilometers) from each other — about six times the distance between Saturn and the sun, according to the statement.

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The bright star of the pair is estimated to be half as large and massive as the Earth, the sun, while the dimmer companion is about a third of the sun’s mass and size. K2-288Bb in a job to the smaller and dimmer star to the 31.3 days, according to the study, published Jan. 7 in The Astronomical Journal.

Furthermore, the data suggest that K2-288Bb lives in its host star’s habitable zone, which means that the planet can have liquid water on its surface, according to the statement.

The exoplanet was discovered using data from the fourth observing campaign of Kepler’s K2 mission, which runs from 2014 to 2018. Specifically, the research team looked for evidence of the periodic changes in the stars’ brightness, which would suggest that an exoplanet passed in front of one of the stars — an event astronomers call a transit.

With the help of this method, the team found evidence of two possible planetary transits in the K2-288-system. However, the observations of a third transit were needed to confirm the discovery of an extrasolar planet.

As it turned out, the team was not to make use of the spacecraft data. During the K2 mission, Kepler is moved in the direction of a new patch of the sky once every three months. There were initial concerns about the accuracy of the Kepler measurements that are collected during the first few days after it was reoriented in the sky. As a result, data that are collected during the first few days of the observations were simply ignored, according to the statement.

“That’s how we missed it — and it took the sharp eyes of the citizen scientists to this extremely valuable find, and point for us,” Feinstein said in the statement.

After the reprocessing of this data, the team placed the information is sent directly to the Exoplanet Explorers, a project that allows the public to search by means of Kepler’s K2 observations of new transiting planets. In May 2017, citizen scientists find the hidden third passage, that the presence of a possible Earth-size exoplanet in the K2-288-system. This discovery may help researchers better understand a phenomenon known as the Fulton gap, in which a strange lack of exoplanets that are 1.5 to 2 times the size of the Earth.

The researchers compared the data of the follow-up observations using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, as well as the European space agency, esa’ s Gaia mission. The team also reviewed the data from the Keck II telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii to confirm their findings, according to the statement.

NASA’s iconic Kepler space telescope fuel in October 2018. Data collected during the course of the instrument’s nine-year scientific mission led to the discovery of more than 2,600 alien planets.

Original article on Space.com.

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