First Planet Candidates Discovered by Planet Hunters

It’s not every night you stumble across something on the internet that is as bizarre¬†as being officially acknowledged for helping to find an exoplanet. I enrolled with Planet Hunter years ago¬†(around 2011), and dabbled for fun picking out images that may indicate the presence of a planet orbiting a star.

The process was both challenging and rewarding, as I learned more about the science behind exoplanetary research and had a chance to contribute to real scientific discovery. Although I haven’t been active on the platform for some time, I look back on my time with Planet Hunter fondly and am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this exciting field.

Planet Hunter is a citizen science project launched by the Zooniverse organization, which allows anyone to help discover new worlds beyond our solar system. After analyzing data from the Kepler space telescope, I found several potential transit events, which looked like they indicated the presence of a planet orbiting a distant star. I logged my findings and forgot about it.

Being officially acknowledged for contributing to the search for new planets is a unique experience for a writer, especially in science fiction, and a testament to the power of citizen science. It’s amazing to think that anyone with an internet connection can make a significant contribution to our understanding of the universe.

Easy stuff really.

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