A system of at least five exoplanets has been discovered by citizen scientists through a project called Exoplanet Explorers.
Exoplanet Explorers project is 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.
Top, an artist concept shows K2-138, the first multi-planet system discovered by citizen scientists. Image credit NASA/JPL-Caltech
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.