“There’s no plan(et) B” we saw on many of the recent signs on Earth Day marches; however there may be a Planet Nine! Thanks to tens of thousands of citizen scientists who logged four years worth of effort in just three days, there are now four Planet Nine candidates for follow-up. That’s real people-powered research. — LFF —

Excerpt: Citizen scientists have flagged four objects for follow-up study in the hunt for the hypothetical Planet Nine. The four unknown objects were spotted in images of the southern sky captured recently by the SkyMapper telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. More than 60,000 people from around the world scoured these photos, making about 5 million classifications, said researchers with the Australian National University, which organized the citizen-science project.

The unusually closely spaced orbits of six of the most distant objects in the Kuiper Belt indicate the existence of a ninth planet whose gravity affects these movements.

Image credit: Planet Nine illustration, courtesy Wikimedia Commons, CC0 license

Source: Citizen Scientists Spot Candidates for Planet Nine – Scientific American