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Thread: Call for Citizen Scientists to hunt for brown dwarfs near the Sun

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    South Carolina

    Smile Call for Citizen Scientists to hunt for brown dwarfs near the Sun

    Wasn't sure where else to put this, looked great.

    Citizen scientists invited to join quest for new worlds
    February 19, 2019, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)

    The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project re-launches this week, with a call to volunteer citizen scientists to join the search for cold worlds near the Sun. With its newly revamped online interface and equipped with twice as much data as before, the project offers new opportunities to discover planets lurking yet unseen in the outer reaches of the Solar System (e.g., Planet 9, Planet X) as well as cold nearby "failed stars" (a.k.a. brown dwarfs). The re-launch coincides with the publication of the project's latest discovery: a record-setting white dwarf star encircled by mysterious dusty rings that challenge astronomers to rethink the long-term evolution of planetary systems.

    With Backyard Worlds, available through the Zooniverse web portal, citizen scientists use images from NASA's WISE mission to uncover previously overlooked objects in the Sun's local cosmic neighborhood. The WISE satellite is currently surveying the entire sky at infrared wavelengths.

    WISE's infrared sensitivity has the unrivaled potential to reveal extremely cold and faint new neighbors of the Sun, some of which may reside closer to us than even the nearest known star, Proxima Centauri. Such neighbors would most likely be brown dwarfs colder than room temperature, of which only a few tantalizing examples are currently known to exist.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    NEOTP Atlanta, GA
    So basically they seek volunteers to use a digital version of a blink comparator (which, of course, is how Clyde Tombaugh found Pluto. )

    Could be fun!

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