When You Wish Upon A Star.

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  • When You Wish Upon A Star.

    Jiminy Cricket sings a wonderful song. Pinocchio, 1940.
    Last edited by Doug MacDonald; 03-10-2017, 01:12 PM.

  • #2
    Everyone's at it.
    Stargazing Live: The Top End mechanic who found a four-planet solar system

    By Dijana Damjanovic
    Posted about 4 hours ago
    PHOTO: The 26-year-old has found four previously unknown planets (Dijana Damjanovic)
    RELATED STORY: Space Gandalf is the newest star in the galaxy
    RELATED STORY: Stargazing Live viewers find four-planet solar system
    MAP: Palmerston 0830

    From his quiet corner inside a steamy Darwin workshop Andrew Grey has repaired hundreds of cars, but his discovery of four previously unknown planets has changed his world forever.
    Today the 26-year-old mechanic and self-confessed space nerd was popping in and out of the workshop to answer calls from interested journalists and scientists eager to speak with him about what he found.
    His boss has allowed him the time to appear on national television and speak to the media, as long as he makes some progress on the line of cars awaiting repair.
    It's an extraordinary day for a young man who considers himself an ordinary mechanic.
    "To be published alongside people that went to university for years and years and for me, just a mechanic from Darwin, to have my name on it, I think it's pretty amazing," he said.
    "The nerd side of me is just ecstatic."

    GIF: Animation of the solar system found by citizen scientists


    Mr Grey's earliest memories are of lying in his backyard with his parents and spotting satellites moving across the sky.
    From there, classic sci-fi movies like Star Trek sparked an interested in the mysteries of the universe, but he never thought that he would one day have his discoveries published alongside seasoned scientists.
    He wasn't aware of the significance of his discovery until he was informed of it on live television.
    "I got an email and it sort of snowballed from there, I had a satellite dish and a television crew in my backyard and I didn't really know until they announced it on the TV," he said.
    "To be involved with this discovery is just too cool."
    Discovery could be key for scientists

    Earlier this week, viewers of the ABC's Stargazing Live program joined the search for planets on the Zooniverse website, using recently downloaded data from the Kepler Space Telescope.
    PHOTO: Andrew Grey works as a mechanic by day and stargazes at night (Dijana Damjanovic)

    Mr Grey said he stayed online for hours on the first night, cataloguing around 1,000 files, and along the way found the four planets orbiting a star in Earth's interstellar neighbourhood.








    Dr Chris Lintott, the principal investigator of Zooniverse, said the star's planets were "crammed together" and indicated there may be more planets further from the star.
    He said the discovery was scientifically important because it was one of only one or two other systems he knew of where planets were packed together, and it might tell astronomers more about how planets form.
    As for Mr Grey, he won't be quitting his day job any time soon, but he'll keep up his passion for star-gazing.
    "On most nights, I sit up pretty late in my yard until about two or three in the morning, I've got a couple of telescopes at home," Mr Grey said.
    "I wouldn't say that I'm obsessed but my missus would say that I definitely am."
    He hopes he'll have the chance the name one or some of the planets after his fiancée Sarah, who has been pleading with him to leave his telescopes and have dinner, or come to bed, sometimes as late as three in the morning.
    "I'll probably have to drag out the telescopes tonight, and have a beer with one of them," he said.
    Topics: astronomy-space, automotive, palmerston-0830


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