As you might've spotted in mainstream news today, astronomers recently discovered seven worlds similar in size to Earth revolving around a star within the Aquarius constellation. In light of the exoplanet find, EVE Online plans to launch its second variation of its crowdsourced Project Discovery with the aim of tracking real-life exoplanets in-game.
Similar to its first Project Discovery campaign—whereby players submitted over 25 million classifications of human cells to the Human Protein Atlas—the latest venture marks a collaboration between the game's developer CCP Games, Massively Multiplayer Online Science, the University of Reykjavik, and the University of Geneva—including the latter's 2017 Wolf Prize for Physics, and discoverer of the first exoplanet, Professor Michel Mayor.
"We were thrilled to see the successes of our first foray into citizen science, in which EVE players have been voracious contributors to the database of the Human Protein Atlas," says EVE’s executive producer Andie Nordgren. "In searching for the next dataset for our massive player community to tackle, the stars aligned for players to have the opportunity to directly contribute to the search for new planets with a world-renowned scientific team.
"Real people around the world collaborating in a virtual universe to explore the real universe is the stuff science fiction, and soon science fact, is made of."
More information on how this Project Discovery mini-game will unfold will be announced via a Michel Mayor-hosted presentation at this year's EVE Fanfest, April 6-8 in Iceland. Until then, check out Andy's overview of last year's campaign.