If you want to be one of those who helps NASA reveal new exoplanets, all you have to do is to be an EVE online player. Recent announcement presented that NASA has discovered seven new exoplanets which seem to be similar to our planet, all orbiting around a star named TRAPPIST-1. The developers of the multiplayer game EVE Online had declared that they would get players to reveal new exoplanets while exploring virtual cosmos.
This appears to be the second edition of the mini-game EVE Online, being known as the Project Discovery. During the first round, the task of the gamers is to collect classifying data about human protein by choosing it from a wide range of cell images. Several groups and institutions like the University of Geneva, University of Reykjavik, CCP Games and Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS) have teamed up to recruit players who are meant to classify astronomical data.
Thousands of players will be able to embark on a new adventure offered by a mini-game in their time speared during jumps between space stations. They will be looking at real images captured and stored in astronomical data base. Gamers will be asked to classify the information based on a certain criteria. Unfortunately, developers did not announce the criteria yet.
If gamers manage to develop sufficient consensus around an individual classification, then scientists will analyze the data they will receive, determining whether the gamers revealed a new exoplanet or some anomalies happening in space. Based on the data provided by CCP, the first such experiment which implied the use of human protein data represented an extraordinary success.
More than 25 million classifications of human cells were refined. This spring, developers will develop more details about how this project will unfold. Michel Mayor, the discoverer of the first exoplanet and recipient of the 2017 Wolf Prize in physics, is bound to present the project at EVE Fanfest which will take place between April 6th and April 8th.
EVE Online appears to be the most suitable platform for this type of project. This game is one who unveils the dark places of the universe, and its players are incredibly tenacious. Crucial space battles which take place between opponents result in loses of thousands of dollars for the virtual gear which costs real money.
Image source: flickr