The Planet Hunters website invites users to search for alien worlds. Anyone with a computer and Internet can comb through data from NASA’s Kepler mission, which monitors a region of the Milky Way galaxy looking for planets outside of our solar system.
Users can participate for free and have a chance to collaborate on a real discovery for science, using the human brain’s ability to recognize patterns to find signs of alien planets from data of the light from stars in a region towards the direction of the constellation Cygnus. Astronomer Kevin Schawinkski describes the Planet Hunters effort as an extension of the highly successful Galaxy Zoo project.
With Galaxy Zoo, “we’ve linked up over 300 thousand human brains and turned it into a science machine,” said Schawinkski. Planet Hunters invite users to search for alien worlds and possibly find a world, like Earth, out there.