You Can Now Help Astronomers Find More Asteroids in the Solar System

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Let’s be honest on this one: most of us, the guys, have been dreaming of becoming astronauts when we were little. If some of us didn’t manage to reach that goal due to various factors, it’s nice to find out that now, in 2023, researchers from the University of Arizona are offering us a huge chance to do some astronomer’s work.

According to SciTechDaily, a new online portal is available for those who want to become asteroid hunters. If you have an internet connection and a device capable of accessing it, you can join the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in order to detect asteroids that weren’t seen by astronomers already. Potential astronomers will have to use the Zooniverse portal.

There’s plenty of fish in the sea!

The Solar System is teeming with asteroids, which means that it’s practically impossible not to find any. The exact number of asteroids that exist in the Solar System is difficult to determine precisely due to the vastness of space and the ongoing discovery of new such space rocks. However, scientists estimate that there are millions of asteroids in our Solar System. The majority of them are located in the asteroid belt, meaning a region located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Eric Christensen, the director of the Catalina Sky Survey, explained as SciTechDaily quotes:

The number of asteroids we detect per night with our telescope really depends on the weather or where we are in the lunar calendar,

On clear nights, the database matches tens of thousands of candidates to known asteroids based on their motion, speed and position in the sky.

Through the Zooniverse portal, those willing to be astronomers for a day without specialized expertise can contribute to scientific research by analyzing detailed telescope images taken during the night sky. With sets of snapshots that were captured by the Catalina Sky Survey telescopes, participants will have to detect moving specks of light that may indicate asteroids or comets. Their role involves discerning whether those specks are authentic celestial bodies or false detections influenced by various factors.

Tommy’s hobby has always been playing video games. He enjoys competing in video games tournaments and writing about his experience. It’s not a big surprise that he mostly covers the latest trends from the gaming industry.