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From Ars Technica: It’s distinctly possible that the first truly Earth-like planet in another star system will be discovered by a non-scientist. Well, that’s not quite true: the process of discovery is more complicated than that. However, volunteers working with exoplanet data from NASA’s Kepler telescope recently identified 42 planet candidates orbiting relatively nearby stars. Of those, 20 potentially lie within the habitable zone of their systems, meaning the basic conditions could be right for liquid surface water. One of these worlds, known as PH2 b, is definitely a Jupiter-sized planet clearly within its star’s habitable zone. While the planet itself is unlikely to harbor conditions suitable for life, perhaps it has moons that would. These volunteers were from Planet Hunters, part of the Zooniverse family of citizen science projects. Several Zooniverse efforts have yielded a number of scientific papers, proving that real science can arise from crowdsourcing.

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