Volunteers Needed to Finish Q1 Round 2

I’m close to submitting my paper looking for short period planets in the Quarter 1 Kepler light curves and comparing to the known Kepler sample of planets.  For the past several months I’ve been developing an algorithm to combine the results from multiple users who have classified the Quarter 1 light curves and summarizing the results in a paper. The goal was to look for planets with period less than 15 days and radii greater than 2 earth radii (so looking for big planets) where there would at least be two transits in the light curves. To see what the project could and couldn’t detect, I made simulated light curves where I injected a planet transit signal into a real Kepler light curve for different planet radii and orbits. If you’ve seen a simulation, you’ll know because a message will pop up after you’ve classified the light curve telling you so and showing where the transit is in red. These synthetic light curves help us understand what Planet Hunters can and can’t find, which is important to know. We do have simulations for Q4 light curves that you might have classified.

The last stage of my pipeline requires human eyeballs. I’m interested in my current paper on how well we find light curves that have at least two transits in them. So we implemented a second round of review, to help us narrow down the list of potential planet candidates from my pipeline and reject some false positives. This new interface shows a light curve in black points with blue boxes where transit boxes were drawn by the users who originally classified the light curve. We ask the reviewer based on what they see in the light curve and what’s been marked previously, if there are at least two transits visible, though they don’t need to be the same depth.

We did an initial stage of round 2 last September right before I presented preliminary results from this work at the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences Meeting in Nantes. But we were not finished classifying all the Q1 light curves and simulations at that time. Now we are done officially done with Q1, and I’ve done the last run of the light curves through my code. So I have a small set of light curves and simulations requiring round 2 review that didn’t get screened in September. I need some volunteers to help me do the round 2 review for these light curves. If you are interested, you can go to  http://review.planethunters.org/ where you can join in. There’s a tutorial on the front page, do read it through it, and it will guide you on what you should be doing, as well as show you some examples of false positives.

Once this is stage is completed, we’ll know if there are any additional new candidates or Kepler planet candidates that we’ve been able to identify from the Q1 classification. Then I can call the analysis for this paper complete and put the final numbers in and submit to a scientific journal. I hope to submit in the next week (crossing fingers) if we can get the round 2 review completed this week.

Thanks in advance,



6 responses to “Volunteers Needed to Finish Q1 Round 2”

  1. Naraoia says :

    Hi, I’ve been wondering about this for a while, but reading the review tutorial prompted me to finally wonder out loud.

    You say that anything longer than a day isn’t a transit. However, transit length partly depends on the size of the star’s disc… and the Kepler data are full of big fat red giants. According to my rough guesses, if something can orbit one of those in 15 days, the transit *would* often take longer than a day. I’m fairly sure I’ve seen a sim based on a giant’s light curve once, and it had normal-length transits, though. What am I missing?

    • Meg says :

      Just a quick note to say thanks everyone who helped – we’ve gone through the curves so fast that I’m done with round 2 review (finally!) so hoping to submit the paper real real soon.

  2. George Kountouris says :

    In some cases the Kepler’s light curve is totally interrupted, and the red line is flat (strait). What does it means?

    • Meg says :

      Not seeing an image. hard for me to directly say, but if it’s totally interrupted could be that data was taken out to remove a previous transiting planet candidate in the light curve. There are some examples people have had questions on, on Talk which you might want to look at.


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