The 3D map consists of a total radius of 65 light-years, about 400 trillion miles, with “close neighbours” inhabiting space within about 35 light-years, or a total of 200 trillion miles. To accomplish this project, scientists connected themselves into a worldwide network of 150,000 volunteers. The study has been published by the journals Nature and the Astrophysical Journal Letters. “Without the citizen scientists, they couldn’t have accomplished such a complete sample of the piece in such a short time,” said J. Davy Kirkpatrick, a scientist at Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena and lead author of the study.
“Having the connectivity of thousands of peoples and the data collected by them on the project helped the scientists to find capable candidates much faster.” Then comes the brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs are more extensive than Jupiter-sized planets but are too smaller for a nuclear fusion. The final process that gives a star its shine. They are also known as “failed stars,” brown dwarfs are by birth hot and faint but telltale infrared light as they slowly cool. These objects are also called balls of gas; they are not weighed enough to be stars since they can’t power themselves through nuclear fusion the way stars do. And while “brown” is in the name, they could appear magenta or orange-red if a person could see them in front of his eyes.
“If you were to put the Sun at a random place within the 3D map and you were asked, ‘Typically, what do its neighbours look like? The scientists found out that their neighbours would look utterly opposite of what they look, which has been said by Aaron Meisner, assistant scientist at the National Science Foundation’s NOIR Lab and co-author of the study.
“The scientists enjoy this project because the objects they send to the researchers might get observed with a big telescope,” said Melina Thévenot, a citizen scientist in Germany. She is listed as a co-author of the new study. “I think we volunteers can see the fruits of our efforts with this project and the publications by the science team.