NASA-Sponsored ‘Disk Detective’ Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries

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NASA is inviting the public to help astronomers discover embryonic planetary systems hidden among data from the agency’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission through a new website, DiskDetective.org. Disk Detective is NASA’s largest crowdsourcing project whose primary goal is to produce publishable scientific results. It exemplifies a new commitment to crowdsourcing and open data by the United States government. “Through Disk Detective, volunteers will help the astronomical community discover new planetary nurseries that will become future targets for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope,” said James Garvin, the chief scientist for NASA Goddard’s Sciences and Exploration Directorate. WISE was designed to survey the entire sky at infrared wavelengths. From a perch in Earth orbit, the spacecraft completed two scans of the entire sky between 2010 and 2011. It took detailed measurements on more than 745 million objects, representing the most comprehensive survey of the sky at mid-infrared wavelengths currently available. via PasadenaNow.com.

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