At MSNBC’s “Cosmic Log,” Alan Boyle invites the audience to join a citizen science project to
help identify future targets for a NASA interplanetary flyby — in this case, for the New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond. – “Join the search for icy worlds,” (June 21, 2011)
Right now, the New Horizons team’s top job is getting ready for the 2015 flyby past Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. But the Southwest Research Institute’s Alan Stern, principal investigator for the $700 million mission, said he and his colleagues are already looking for follow-up targets in the Kuiper Belt, the wide disk of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. Those targets will have to be selected before the Pluto encounter takes place.
But the targets must be selected in advance and they’re hoping citizen volunteers will beat them to it. Surprisingly, perhaps some could, using a Web browser:
The IceHunters are being asked to check composite images from ground-based telescopes, such as the 8-meter Subaru telescope in Hawaii or the 6.5-meter telescope in Chile, and mark the little blobs that could signal the existence of a Kuiper Belt object. … “The website is filled with examples to help get people started.
Let UD News know if you find one. They do say you might get to name it.