My name is Dan Peluso and I am doing my PhD in astrophysics with Franck Marchis (astronomer at the SETI Institute) and as a portion of my research I want to see if it is possible for any astronomy enthusiast around the world to coordinate with planet hunting scientists like us to help contribute to the search for planets around other stars (a.k.a. exoplanets). Exoplanet searches usually require elaborate setups, lots of study, maybe a fancy degree, and a sky mostly free of light pollution. With new technologies, such as with the new Unistellar eVscope and the citizen science network we are developing in coordination with the SETI Institute that is no longer the case!
The Unistellar eVscope has already proven its capabilities to observe the transit of an exoplanet (see image 1 below).
However, now we want to experiment with the possibilities of many eVscope users observing the same exoplanet and at the same time! Additionally, what will combining the data from many eVscopes do in helping us to learn more about these distant worlds? Ready to find out? I am! If you are too, then please read on for directions and details.
Date of observation:
Saturday, January 11, 2020
8:18 pm – 12:26 am, Pacific Standard Time
*Hey, guess what? You don’t even have to be with your eVscope this entire time! I’ve done observations this long and after setting up went inside to catch up on my favorite shows, such as The Mandalorian.
WASP-50 (V=11.6). We hope to detect the planet, WASP-50b.
Right Ascension (RA) –> 02:54:45.14
Declination (Dec) –> -10:53:53.1
(don’t forget that negative sign for your dec)! 😉
Additional Info. and Warning:WASP-50 star is 4 degrees away from Eta Eri (also called Azha). It will be very low in the sky for San Francisco area observers at the end of the night so check your visibility.