Over the past 15 years, astronomers have found just 136 planets outside our solar system. But now space buffs David Gutelius and Laurance Doyle say they can push that number well into the thousands by 2010.
They just need to borrow your computer for a little while.
The two entrepreneurs are currently seeking funding for a non-profit project that would turn the home computers of every amateur astronomer in the world into one giant calculator, capable of crunching through millions of bits of cosmic data each day.
Their hope is that a number of computers in the Planetquest Collaboratory, as the network is being called, will quickly stumble across the mathematical signatures of planets just like Earth. And that's when Gutelius and Doyle will return the favour, by letting the computers' owners decide what to name whatever they find.