You can now discover exoplanets thanks to astronomers making public a giant dataset

The dataset has readings taken over two decades, and offers the public direct access to one of the best exoplanet searches in the world.


An international team of astronomers lead by Carnegie Institution for Science, and including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale have made available to the public a massive dataset of observations taken from a remote facility in Hawaii.

The dataset has readings taken over two decades, and offers the public direct access to one of the best exoplanet searches in the world. Astronomers have proven the quality of the data by already discovering 100 additional extra solar planets.

The discovery of 100 extra solar planets, includes one orbiting the fourth closest start to the Solar System. The results have been published in The Astronomical Journal.

The lead author of the paper, Paul Butler from Carnegie said, "This paper and data release represents a good chunk of my life's work." Jennifer Burt, of MIT said, "This is an amazing catalog, and we realised there just aren’t enough of us on the team to be doing as much science as could come out of this dataset. There seems to be no shortage of exoplanets, there are a ton of them out there, and there is ton of science to be done."

The astronomers have crowd sourced the search for extra solar planets, to accelerate the discovery of these celestial bodies. The raw data needed for the discoveries has already taken place. To search for exoplanets, users have to download the dataset, and process it through an open source software called systemic to identify previously unknown exoplanets.

A tutorial on how to use the software and the dataset is also available. The dataset has over 61,000 measurements of 1,600 nearby stars.

Happy hunting.


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