Thesis Defense by Darren Grau on November 27th
Darren Grau, Space Studies master’s student, will defend his thesis as follows. Please mark your calendars and show your support by attending.
When: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. (Central)
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Stellar Spectral Classification of Previously Unclassified Stars GSC 4461-698 and GSC 4466-870
Abstract: Stellar spectral classification is one of the first efforts undertaken to begin defining the physical characteristics of stars. However, many stars lack even this basic information, which is the foundation for later research to constrain stellar effective temperatures, masses, radial velocities, the number of stars in the system, and age. This research obtained visible-λ stellar spectra via the testing and commissioning of a Santa Barbara Instruments Group (SBIG) Self-Guiding Spectrograph (SGS) at the UND Observatory. Utilizing a 16-inch-aperture telescope on Internet Observatory #3, the SGS obtained spectra of GSC 4461-698 and GSC 4466-870 in the low-resolution mode using an 18-μm wide slit with dispersion of 4.3 Å/pixel, resolution of 8 Å, and a spectral range from 3800-7500 Å.
Observational protocols include automatic bias/dark frame subtraction for each stellar spectrum obtained. This was followed by spectral averaging to obtain a combined spectrum for each star observed. Image calibration and spectral averaging was performed using the software programs, Maxim DL,Image J, Microsoft Excel, and Winmk. A wavelength calibration process was used to obtain spectra of an Hg/Ne source that allowed the conversion of spectrograph channels into wavelengths.
Stellar emission and absorption lines, such as those for hydrogen (H) and helium (He), were identified, extracted, and rectified. Each average spectrum was compared to the MK stellar spectral standards to determine an initial spectral classification for each star. The hope is that successful completion of this project will allow long-term stellar spectral observations to begin at the UND Observatory.
******Those unable to attend in person may view the live webcast via Connect Pro******
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Public feed (video only): Public Live Class
The presentation will be posted on the space studies website archive page at http://realmedia.aero.und.edu/real/flash.asp?class=spst/thesisdefense at a later date, and will also be added to the student research webpage for theses found at http://www.space.edu/ResearchandFacilities/StudentResearch.aspx.