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Session 4 - Education: Telescopes, the Web and Curricula.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Under the sponsorship of the NSF, a multi-year program has been established at New Mexico State University to have undergraduate students monitor different classes of variable stars. Amongst our targets are the optical counterparts of high-energy sources such as Low-Mass X-ray Binaries (LMXBs), Algol eclipsing binaries, and cataclysmic variables. This program included the installation, and debugging of a 16" Meade telescope at the NMSU campus observatory. This telescope is equipped with a Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-8 CCD camera, and a standard UBVRI filter set. The students are responsible for collecting the data, reducing the CCD images, and modeling their results. During the Fall semester we have a program of monitoring infrequently observed Algol eclipsing binaries. Our students will determine the system parameters of these Algol binaries by modeling the photometry they have obtained using a light curve synthesis program (``Binary Maker 2.0'', by D. Bradstreet). [For the initial results of this program see the poster by P. A. Mason et al.] During the Spring semester we anticipate an intense monitoring program of the LMXB Sco X-1. The optical data will be combined with simultaneous 10-20 keV data from the BATSE Spectroscopy Detectors on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory to understand how the x-rays are reprocessed in the accretion disk surrounding the neutron star in Sco X-1.
Program listing for Wednesday