An amateur British astronomer has been helping boffins find planets without even looking into his telescope.
According to the Daily Mail, gas man Peter Jalowiczor, uses two home computers and much of his spare time to analyse data released by the University of California’s Lick-Carnegie Planet Search Team in Santa Cruz, California.
So far he has found four planets which are too far away to be spotted by telescopes.
Jalowiczor, has a couple of university degrees and uses Doppler spectroscopy to locate planets.
What he does is look for faint changes in stars’ behaviours that can only be caused by a planet or planets orbiting about them.
He then emails the details to Santa Cruz where they try to look for them.An amateur astronomer is over the moon after discovering four new planets in his spare time at home.
Jalowiczor is from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, has been officially named by the University of California’s Lick-Carnegie Planet Search Team as the co-discoverer of planets HD31253b, HD218566b, HD177830c and HD99492c. While the names look like an Intel product sheet, HD31253b is 172 light years away, HD218566b is 98 light years away, HD177830c is 190 light years away, and HD99492c. Of course a white Apple iPhone 4 is several million light years away, but that does not play down Jalowiczor’s ability to see far flung objects without a telescope.
His findings have been published in the Astrophysical Journal, which we get for the Spot the Quark competition. Most of Jalowiczor’s planets are gas giants thought to resemble Jupiter, if the light is poor and you have had too much to drink.