The Planck satellite is a third-generation space-based cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment with greater resolution and broader frequency range than its predecessors, COBE and WMAP. The completion of the first high-sensitivity submillimeter all-sky survey in April 2010 allows a unique opportunity to study the classes of astronomical sources which are foregrounds to the CMB. This project will use the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalog (ERCSC) to classify compact objects which have not previously been seen by IRAS. In an effort to avoid the effects of confusion from the high density of sources in the Galactic plane, we will confine our survey to |b|>20°.
We expect the approximately 4000 previously unidentified sources to be classified into extragalactic radio sources, star-forming galaxies, stars within a dust shell, cold stellar cores or asteroids. Teachers and students from four schools will be active participants in the data analysis process to bring authentic research into the classroom.
Breck School, Golden Valley, Minnesota
The regular NITARP 2012 teams submitted research proposals. Several NITARP alumni helped review their proposals.