Scientists know that planets originate from dust and gas disks that revolve around young stars, while gradually clamps are gradually formed and gravity forms planets for millions of years. However they want to know more about this process, so they should look further into these protoplanetary discs for observation.
The purpose of a new NASA project is to get public support by inviting them to help identify disks through a website called Disk Detective.
“We’re trying to figure out how long it takes to form planets,” explained astronomer Mark Kuchner, who led the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s disk intelligence project and is a citizen science officer in NASA’s Science Mission Department. “The main way to track the evolution of these disks is to find out how long it takes to form a planet.”
This image shows a young, sun-like star surrounded by its planetary structure and a disk of dust. NASA / JPL-Caltech
To help with this project, you can go to the Disk Detective page on the civic science platform Juniors and select Start. The site shows you a tutorial on how to identify a planetary disk, then asks you to select from a list of options that describe the shape of the object that will help with the classification.
The site has a huge dataset of 150,000 stars, so there are plenty of targets for volunteers to work with. Most of the stars in the dataset are M dwarf, the most common star in our galaxy, or the brown dwarf, which is cooler and less massive than other stars.
This method has the potential to bring real benefits to scientific research. “Several of our civilian scientists have looked at each object, given their own opinions, and relied on the intelligence of the masses to determine what things are probably galaxies and what things probably have disks around them,” said Steven Silverberg, director of disk intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postdoctoral researcher at the Kabli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research in Technology.
Other NASA civic science projects include helping the public navigate rovers around Mars, selecting a landing site on a distant asteroid Bennu, and identifying corals and maps of the world. Dwarf disk detection.
“We need a large sample of different types of disks of different ages to determine how the disks evolved,” Kuchner said. “NASA needs your help. Let’s discover these discs with us! “