What is Star Sailors?
Welcome to "Star Sailors", your gateway to the universe! This unique blend of gameplay and scientific exploration offers you an opportunity to dive deep into the realm of astronomical research. Every action you take here, from analysing data to discussing findings, has real-world implications for understanding our cosmos.
Your Mission: Be An Exoplanet Detective
You're not just a gamer in Star Sailors; you're an exoplanet detective. As the name suggests, your role is to detect and classify exoplanets — planets that orbit stars beyond our solar system.
It's all about analysing light! By studying light patterns from distant stars, you'll search for the tell-tale signs of these hidden celestial bodies. But don’t worry; even if you’re new to this, our training and tools will make you an expert in no time.
The Tools of the Trade: Understanding Light Curves
Light Curves are graphs that show the brightness of a star over time. When a planet crosses in front of a star (from our viewpoint), it causes a tiny drop in the star's light. These 'dips' in brightness are the clues we're after.
Our primary tool - the transit method
Imagine you're looking at a distant streetlight. Suddenly, a bird flies by, and the light dims momentarily before shining bright again. On a cosmic scale, this momentary dimming is what we're looking for — but instead of birds, we're spotting planets!
Size Matters: The amount of dimming hints at the planet. A big planet, like Jupiter, will cause a bigger drop in light, while a smaller planet, like Earth, will create a more subtle dip.
Why we need you
In the era of supercomputers and AI, you might wonder: Why involve humans? Here's the deal:
Computers are great at spotting regular patterns but can sometimes overlook unusual ones. Especially for longer-period planets, the human eye and intuition can be invaluable. By blending computational precision with human insight, we ensure no exoplanet goes unnoticed.
Your journey in Star Sailors is not a solitary one:
1. Collaboration: Engage in team discussions, share observations, and debate theories with fellow sailors.
2. Voting: After discussions, cast your vote on potential discoveries contributing to the community’s collective intelligence.