If you didn’t catch my last post on this topic, 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).
Currently, one of the best planet hunting missions in operations is NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (a.k.a. TESS). Although NASA’s TESS is an amazing instrument, it still needs help in confirming and gathering additional data on the exoplanets it is attempting to observe. This is where YOU come in!
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? Can you and your eVscope help NASA TESS scientists better understand these distant worlds? Ready to find out? I am! If you are too, then please read on for directions and details.
Date of observation:
Friday, January 24, 2020
6:34 pm – 10:41 pm, 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.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE CHECK THE WEATHER so if you leave your eVscope out it is not damaged by rain/snow!!!
Right Ascension (RA) –> 02:57:10.31
Declination (Dec) –> +33:18:45.56
(don’t forget that positive sign for your dec)! 😉
Note about celestial coordinates: In the Unistellar application on your phone, you will only be able to enter the first 6 digits (don’t worry, you’ll still get the target). For example, for 02:57:10.31, you’ll only be able to enter02:57:10, which is HH:MM:SS (hours, minutes, seconds).