IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2021B028 PROGRAM_TITLE Probing the Local IMF with Backyard Worlds PROGRAM_INV1 Adam Schneider PROGRAM_INV2 Jacqueline Faherty PROGRAM_INV3 Aaron Meisner PROGRAM_INV4 Marc Kuchner PROGRAM_INV5 Davy Kirkpatrick PROGRAM_SCICAT stellar PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG An accurate accounting of the nearest stars and brown dwarfs is critical to our understanding of the history of star formation in the solar neighborhood. We have initiated the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science project, which engages with citizen volunteers from around the world using infrared images from the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer [WISE], to identify overlooked low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the immediate vicinity of the Sun. We have identified a sample of 50 new discoveries with estimated distances likely within 30 pc. However, the estimated distances of these potential new neighbors rely on photometric spectral type estimates, which typically have uncertainties of several subtypes. We are proposing to acquire follow-up near-infrared spectroscopy of these targets with the SpeX spectrograph to determine precise spectral types in order to calculate more accurate spectrophotometric distances. These observations will allow us to identify new exotic objects for future individual studies [e.g, old brown dwarfs, young brown dwarfs, binaries], enable us to determine physical parameters [e.g., effective temperatures, surface gravities], and provide the data needed for a more accurate calculation of the brown dwarf space density, allowing for tighter constraints on the shape of the local initial mass function at the low-mass end. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END