EVE Online players will help scientists look for other planets from the comfort of their computer desks later this year. The game’s developer, CCP Games, is teaming up with Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), the University of Reykjavik and the University of Geneva to crowdsource space exploration within EVE’s virtual universe.
Players will hunt for planets outside of our solar system, called exoplanets, through a mini-game called Project Discovery. They’ll receive real-world astronomical data to study during space flights, which can take up to a few minutes depending on the distance between space stations. If enough players reach a comparative consensus on the data’s classification, it’ll be sent back to the University of Geneva to help refine its search. Michel Mayor, winner of the 2017 Wolf Prize for Physics and discoverer of the first exoplanet, will give a full presentation on the project during this year’s EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland.