A citizen-science search for an unknown planet in our solar system, nicknamed Planet 9 by astronomers. That search is being spearheaded by astronomers Arizona State University and organized via a website called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 in cooperation with Zooniverse, which coordinates many citizen science projects. Now a second search has been announced, this one in the Southern Hemisphere. The Australia National Observatory (ANU) said late in the day on Sunday (March 26, 2017) that it is working with BBC Stargazing Live to launch its Planet 9 search. Once again, the astronomers will be working with Zooniverse, and once again they’re inviting anyone around the world with access to the Internet to help make the historic discovery.
ANU said it will launch online access on Monday to the first complete digital map of the southern sky. When I clicked the online access link earlier today, it wasn’t live yet, but keep checking. The link should take you to hundreds of thousands of pictures taken by a robotic, 1.3-meter telescope called the SkyMapper at the university’s Siding Spring Observatory. This telescope is creating a full record of the southern sky for Australian astronomers.
There will also be an official launch of the project via BBC Stargazing Live hosted by astronomer Brian Cox and comedian Dara O Briain. That’ll happen on March 28 to 30 at 8 p.m. London time, ANU said.