NASA says that in their work collaborating alongside “citizen scientists,” a new planet has now been discovered beyond our solar system.
Citizens from all over can view telescope data shared by the space agency to work with professional astronauts and discover signs of exoplanets, which are planets that are far into space, light years away from Earth.
NASA says Tom Jacobs of Bellevue, Washington, discovered the exoplanet after studying NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) data. The gaseous planet is about the size of Jupiter and sits about 379 light-years away from Earth while orbiting a star with the same mass as the Sun.
The discovery is being called TOI-2180 b, and astronomers say finding it was no easy task.
Paul Dalba, an astronomer at the University of California in Riverside who was a lead author of the study said they were in “a global uniting effort, because we all need to go after it together to keep eyes on this particular planet.”
Jacobs, who is a former U.S. naval officer, said, “Discovering and publishing TOI-2180 b was a great group effort demonstrating that professional astronomers and seasoned citizen scientists can successfully work together.”
Next, astronomers and citizen scientists will see if they can find the planet’s signature, which will yield more meaning to the data they have. The findings so far have been published in the Astronomical Journal.
By Douglas Jones, KRTV.