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Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Blog

42 Confirmed Brown Dwarfs and Counting

11 Jul 2018, 21:28 UTC
42 Confirmed Brown Dwarfs and Counting
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Hey everybody! Thanks to your efforts, we’re now up to 879 brown dwarf candidates. Wow. We’ve been following up your discoveries as fast as we can, getting spectra to determine their spectral types and distances, test for membership in moving groups, and look for unusual features. For the coolest objects, we’ve also been working on taking new images. Here’s a little update on all this follow-up work.
First of all, we have a big stack of new spectra. Jackie Faherty observed 21 of our brown dwarf candidates with the ARCoIRIS spectrograph on the Blanco 4m telescope in Chile, and Jonathan Gagné, Jackie Faherty and Michaela Allen observed another batch of 10 with the SpeX spectrograph on NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF).
Picture of Michaela Allen’s desk at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center while she was observing our brown dwarf candidates remotely with the IRTF telescope.
That’s right, Michaela, our TALK moderator, is now participating in observing runs. Michaela is spending her summer as a NASA intern here at Goddard Space Flight Center in exotic Greenbelt, Maryland. She’s working on our Gemini data, and looking through the long long list of moving objects you have found that did not appear, at ...

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