In 1930 astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto while looking at photographs of the night sky. Pluto was the first object to be found in what’s now known as the Kuiper Belt, a region that’s also full of asteroids. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft intends to visit one or two of them after it flies past Pluto in 2015. But which ones?

That’s where you come in. Because astronomers are ___1___ citizen scientists to ___2___ images that will help them find the outermost icy bodies in Pluto’s neighborhood. The project is described at the Web site icehunters.org

Some of the largest telescopes on Earth have helped produce millions of images of the relevant region of space. By comparing photos taken at different times, scientists can ___3___ objects that appear ___4___, like far-off galaxies, and focus on things that appear to be moving in orbits, like asteroids.

Now, these pictures can be a bit ___5___. So scientists say they could use plenty of eyes to help scan the pics for things that move—the same way Tombaugh first found Pluto. The winning object could become the most distant ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth. But you don’t even have to get off the couch.
【视听版科学小组荣誉出品】
calling on eyeball subtract out stationary messy
1930年,天文学家克莱德汤博在研究夜空照片的时候发现了矮行星冥王星。它是柯伊伯带中最先被发现的物体。柯伊伯带中的小行星也是不计其数。美国宇航局的新视野号宇宙飞船计划在2015年与冥王星亲密接触后造访柯伊伯带中的一到二颗小行星。可是那么多小行星,到底选哪一颗呢? 这回该你出马了。天文学家正呼吁公民科学家伸出援手,帮助他们找到冥王星周围最外围的冰冷物质。详情请见icehunters.org。 大型天文望远镜已经为人们提供了相关区域数以百万计的图像。通过比较不同时间拍摄的照片,科学家们可以排除诸如遥远的银河之类的静态物质,并专注于小行星一类沿轨道运行的物质。 不过,这么多图像着实让人头大,于是科学家们希望更多的人能够帮忙找出动态物质——和汤博最早发现冥王星的方法如出一辙。最终锁定的目标将会成为地球宇宙飞船造访的最远客人。至于你嘛,安心地躺沙发上就行了~