Disk Detective: Discovery of New Circumstellar Disk Candidates through Citizen Science

October 2016 • 2016ApJ...830...84K

Authors • Kuchner, Marc J. • Silverberg, Steven M. • Bans, Alissa S. • Bhattacharjee, Shambo • Kenyon, Scott J. • Debes, John H. • Currie, Thayne • García, Luciano • Jung, Dawoon • Lintott, Chris • McElwain, Michael • Padgett, Deborah L. • Rebull, Luisa M. • Wisniewski, John P. • Nesvold, Erika • Schawinski, Kevin • Thaller, Michelle L. • Grady, Carol A. • Biggs, Joseph • Bosch, Milton • Černohous, Tadeáš • Durantini Luca, Hugo A. • Hyogo, Michiharu • Wah, Lily Lau Wan • Piipuu, Art • Piñeiro, Fernanda • Disk Detective Collaboration

Abstract • The Disk Detective citizen science project aims to find new stars with 22 μm excess emission from circumstellar dust using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. Initial cuts on the AllWISE catalog provide an input catalog of 277,686 sources. Volunteers then view images of each source online in 10 different bands to identify false positives (galaxies, interstellar matter, image artifacts, etc.). Sources that survive this online vetting are followed up with spectroscopy on the FLWO Tillinghast telescope. This approach should allow us to unleash the full potential of WISE for finding new debris disks and protoplanetary disks. We announce a first list of 37 new disk candidates discovered by the project, and we describe our vetting and follow-up process. One of these systems appears to contain the first debris disk discovered around a star with a white dwarf companion: HD 74389. We also report four newly discovered classical Be stars (HD 6612, HD 7406, HD 164137, and HD 218546) and a new detection of 22 μm excess around the previously known debris disk host star HD 22128.


IPAC Authors


Luisa Rebull

Senior Research Scientist