Above – n this artist’s rendering, the small white orb represents the white dwarf (a remnant of a long-dead Sun-like star), while the purple foreground object is the newly discovered brown dwarf companion, confirmed by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. This faint brown dwarf was previously overlooked until being spotted by citizen scientists working with Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, a NASA-funded citizen science project.
Credits: NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Marenfeld/Acknowledgement: William Pendrill
Members of the public helped make these discoveries through Backyard Worlds: Planet 9. NASA has funded the citizen science project to have volunteers help NASA. Backyard Worlds makes data from NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) satellite along with all-sky observations from WISE. Data from NASA’s retired Spitzer Space Telescope and the National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab were also instrumental in the analysis.
More than 100,000 citizen scientists have volunteered to help. For this new group of brown dwarfs, 20 citizen scientists across 10 different countries are listed as coauthors of the study.
Backyard Worlds volunteers have already discovered more than 1,500 cold worlds near the Sun. The new discovery of 95 brown dwarfs is the largest published batch of objects ever discovered through a citizen science project.
SOURCES- NASA, Backyard World
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com