Many scientists believe that somewhere past Pluto sits an unidentified planet, called Planet 9. Indirect evidence suggests it’s out there, but so far astronomers have been unable to find it themselves, which is why NASA is now asking you to help them. Using a new NASA-funded website, you can hunt through telescope data for Planet 9 and other unknown objects lurking out there.
The website, Backyard Worlds, takes data collected in 2010 and 2011 by the WISE telescope. During those two years, WISE completed a full survey of the night sky in infrared, and that data is now available on Backyard Worlds to comb over.
Here’s a few tips to make it even easier: one of the buttons lets you invert the colors of the image, which reduces the background noise and makes objects of interest stand out. Most of those objects will all move together due to noise, but any planets or brown dwarfs will follow a different path. Lastly, be sure to create an account so you get credit for any discoveries you make.
Published on popularmechanics.com