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Follow-up Imaging of Disk Candidates from the Disk Detective Citizen Science Project: New Discoveries and False Positives in WISE Circumstellar Disk Surveys

Silverberg, Steven M. and Kuchner, Marc J. and Wisniewski, John P. and Bans, Alissa S. and Debes, John H. and Kenyon, Scott J. and Baranec, Christoph and Riddle, Reed and Law, Nicholas and Teske, Johanna K. and Burns-Kaurin, Emily and Bosch, Milton K. D. and Cernohous, Tadeas and Doll, Katharina and Durantini Luca, Hugo A. and Hyogo, Michiharu and Hamilton, Joshua and Finnemann, Johanna J. S. and Lau, Lily (2018) Follow-up Imaging of Disk Candidates from the Disk Detective Citizen Science Project: New Discoveries and False Positives in WISE Circumstellar Disk Surveys. Astrophysical Journal, 868 (1). Art. No. 43. ISSN 1538-4357.

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The Disk Detective citizen science project aims to find new stars with excess 22 μm emission from circumstellar dust in the AllWISE data release from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. We evaluated 261 Disk Detective objects of interest with imaging with the Robo-AO adaptive optics instrument on the 1.5 m telescope at Palomar Observatory and with RetroCam on the 2.5 m du Pont Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory to search for background objects at 0.”15–12'' separations from each target. Our analysis of these data leads us to reject 7% of targets. Combining this result with statistics from our online image classification efforts implies that at most 7.9% ± 0.2% of AllWISE-selected infrared excesses are good disk candidates. Applying our false-positive rates to other surveys, we find that the infrared excess searches of McDonald et al. and Marton et al. all have false-positive rates >70%. Moreover, we find that all 13 disk candidates in Theissen & West with W4 signal-to-noise ratio >3 are false positives. We present 244 disk candidates that have survived vetting by follow-up imaging. Of these, 213 are newly identified disk systems. Twelve of these are candidate members of comoving pairs based on Gaia astrometry, supporting the hypothesis that warm dust is associated with binary systems. We also note the discovery of 22 μm excess around two known members of the Scorpius–Centaurus association, and we identify known disk host WISEA J164540.79-310226.6 as a likely Sco-Cen member. Thirty of these disk candidates are closer than ~125 pc (including 26 debris disks), making them good targets for both direct-imaging exoplanet searches.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Silverberg, Steven M.0000-0002-3741-4181
Kuchner, Marc J.0000-0002-2387-5489
Wisniewski, John P.0000-0001-9209-1808
Bans, Alissa S.0000-0003-0426-7987
Debes, John H.0000-0002-1783-8817
Kenyon, Scott J.0000-0003-0214-609X
Baranec, Christoph0000-0002-1917-9157
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Law, Nicholas0000-0001-9380-6457
Bosch, Milton K. D.0000-0002-9766-2400
Doll, Katharina0000-0002-2993-9869
Durantini Luca, Hugo A.0000-0002-4143-2550
Hyogo, Michiharu0000-0001-8343-0820
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 May 7; revised 2018 September 20; accepted 2018 September 21; published 2018 November 16. We thank the anonymous reviewer for providing comments that helped to improve the content and clarity of this paper, We acknowledge support from grant 14-ADAP14-0161 from the NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program and grant 16-XRP16_2-0127 from the NASA Exoplanets Research Program. M.J.K. acknowledges funding from the NASA Astrobiology Program via the Goddard Center for Astrobiology. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and NEOWISE, which is a project of JPL/Caltech. WISE and NEOWISE are funded by NASA. 2MASS is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at Caltech, funded by NASA and the NSF. The Digitized Sky Survey was produced at the Space Telescope Science Institute under U.S. Government grant NAG W-2166. The images of these surveys are based on photographic data obtained using the Oschin Schmidt Telescope on Palomar Mountain and the UK Schmidt Telescope. The plates were processed into the present compressed digital form with the permission of these institutions. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS website is The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. Some of the data presented in this paper were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Support for MAST for non-HST data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NNX13AC07G and by other grants and offices. This research has made use of the VizieR catalog access tool, CDS, Strasbourg, France. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC; Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. The Robo-AO system was developed by collaborating partner institutions, the California Institute of Technology, and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and with the support of the National Science Foundation under grants AST-0906060, AST-0960343 and AST-1207891, the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, and by a gift from Samuel Oschin. C.B. acknowledges support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. IRAF is distributed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. PyRAF is a product of the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA for NASA. This research made use of ds9, a tool for data visualization supported by the Chandra X-ray Science Center (CXC) and the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Center (HEASARC) with support from the JWST Mission office at the Space Telescope Science Institute for 3D visualization. Resources supporting this work were provided by the NASA High-End Computing (HEC) Program through the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) at Goddard Space Flight Center. Facilities: FLWO:2MASS - 2MASS Telescope at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, CTIO:2MASS - , WISE - , PO:1.5 m (Robo-AO) - , du Pont (RetroCam) - . Software: IRAF (Tody 1993), PyRAF, AstroPy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013), NumPy (Van Der Walt et al. 2011), SciPy (Jones et al. 2001), Matplotlib (Hunter 2007), pandas (McKinney 2010), emcee (Foreman-Mackey et al. 2013).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Participating InstitutionsUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Japanese MonbukagakushoUNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Higher Education Funding Council for EnglandUNSPECIFIED
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
Mt. Cuba Astronomical FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:catalogs – infrared: planetary systems – methods: data analysis – protoplanetary disks – surveys
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181120-105346698
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Official Citation:Steven M. Silverberg et al 2018 ApJ 868 43
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91070
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Nov 2018 19:10
Last Modified:20 Nov 2018 19:10

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