Discipline: 
Physics
Status: 
Available
Level: 
Honours Project
Level: 
Summer Project
Supervisor(s): 
Prof David Moriarty (principal), Prof Michael Drinkwater (associate)

The mass of a star is a fundamental property governing its evolution. The evolution of single stars is well understood but some very close binary stars can transfer mass from one star to the other, resulting in strange evolutionary paths. We will analyse optical spectroscopy of several binary stars to measure their masses and determine if there is any mass flow between them. This will use data from the ANU 2.3m Telescope http://rsaa.anu.edu.au/observatories/instruments/wide-field-spectrograph-wifes

Expected outcomes - This project will train students in independent research, report writing, data analysis and computing skills.

Suitable for - Students with interest in astrophysics, or studying physics, maths or computing

Other important details – Interested students will need to write data analysis programs in the Python language, but programming experience in any language is sufficient background.