Two 'citizen scientists' spot unknown world on planet-hunting website
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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:45 AM
A pair of amateur British stargazers have discovered a new planet – for only the third time in history. Chris Holmes and Lee Threapleton spotted the new world during a project to find planets beyond our solar system publicised by Professor Brian Cox in his Stargazing Live series. The pair will receive the honour of having the planet named after them, once scientists have confirmed its authenticity.
They made the discovery after spotting changes in light patterns in an image from Nasa’s Kepler space telescope. The unusual patterns suggested a planet appears to be orbiting a sun called SPH10066540, which lies between 600 and 3,000 light years away. Threapleton Holmes B’, as the planet will be known, is thought to be gaseous, and around the size of Neptune.
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