Tuesday, May 31, 2011

binary stars and beyond!

First couple of days at BU under my belt!

My project this summer includes analyzing the different spectra of (close) binaries. The spectra of these binaries are made up of several different exposures from 9-25 min in length. By looking at the individual spectra that these were composed of, we can possibly see position changes of binaries through the shifts in their absorption and emission lines, and thereby calculate velocities. More to come once I'm further along.

I spent last Friday doing some background reading. Read and took notes on Silvestri et al (2005), West et al (2008), West et al (2011), and Hilton et al (2010). Also did some quick calculations on deriving velocity from wavelength change, and also the relationship between mass, separation, and velocity of binaries.

Things to further read up on:
-how to determine signal-to-noise ratio in spectra
-using the L Halpha/L bol ratio

This afternoon, I read through the chapter on stellar activity in the textbook New Light on Dark Stars: Red Dwarfs, Low-Mass stars, Brown Dwarfs (Reid and Hawley). We also set up the new computers in the lab. I also put together a quick little reminder list of useful idl tricks to have on my desktop. Tomorrow: spectra! (I think)

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