Variability Classification of Disk Detective Candidates Open Access

Gong, Yulin (Spring 2020)

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Disk Detective is one of the NASA led and funded collaboration projects with Zooniverse. The project aims at searching for stars that are surrounded by dust-rich circumstellar disks. This paper mainly focuses on the detection and classification of variability among a subset circumstellar disk candidates from Disk Detective. We performed two different procedures for searching for variability. We used archival WISE data with periodogram analysis to find candidates’ potential variabilities, and we also observed some of the candidates with Emory’s 24 inch telescope in order to look for long-term variability as well as to validate and compare the periods we found with the archival data. We found 340 variabilities among the 467 objects with the archival search, and 28 of those were clear periodic variables. While preliminary, our observations identified 7 variables with confidence, including AWI0005w5z, AWI0002d9y, AWI0005yjf, etc. We conclude that a large number of variables may exist among the Disk Detective candidates and that variability could be an important tool used for categorizing the types of objects the project identifies. 

Table of Contents

Chapter I. Introduction 1

Chapter II. Variability Among The Disk Detective Objects 7

Chapter III. Data Collection 16

Chapter IV. Data Reduction 23

Chapter V. Identification of periodic variables from the Archival Data 30

Chapter VI. Results of WISE archival data 34

Chapter VII. Results from Emory Observatory 45

Chapter VIII. Conclusions and Discussions 56

References 58

Appendix I. 62

Appendix II. 76

Appendix III. 82

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