Neutron Stars in Binary Systems

Welcome! This project is intended for inclusion in an introductory undergraduate course for non-science majors after the study of stars is complete. At the end of this project, the student should be able to:

  • Interpret the light curve of a binary star system in general.
  • Produce an X-ray light curve from raw data taken by an X-ray satellite.
  • Interpret the light curve he or she has produced for a particular binary star system.
This project guides students through a self-assessed series of activities, starting with practice interpreting curves for binary systems, then through the installation and use of a tool to access the raw data from the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer satellite (RXTE), and finally the interpretation of the data and comparison of student results to the professional literature. In the online version, a file of the assessment results can be electronically saved and submitted to the professor. Visit this feature online at http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/college_hera/.

Notice the "Contents" bar on the left hand side of every page. If you'd like to refer back to any information on a previous page, it's a quick way to move around the module.

Module designed by:
Dr. Beth Hufnagel, Associate Professor
Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD 21012

William H. Howard II
A.A.S., Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD 21012 &
CS/IT student, University of Maryland University College

Funded by:
Southeast Regional Clearinghouse (SERCH)
http://serch.cofc.edu/serch

Maryland Space Grant Consortium (MDSGC)
Anne Anikis, Assistant Director
http://www.mdspacegrant.org

Project Conceptualized and Developed by:
Dr. Irina Nelson

Carolyn Harden, Education Specialist
Education Office, Code 130
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

DVD Table of Contents
Educator's Index