Study of a Black Hole Binary System in a Small Starburst Galaxy

04/23/2012


Student Symposium, 2012

Alyssa Melaragni is a undergraduate physics student who researched a black hole binary system in a small starburst galaxy using data from NASA's Chandra Observatory. Alyssa explains that the black hole both is emitting x-rays and "being eclipsed by its companion start, a giant blue star," but says it's likely that the the blue star's atmosphere is responsible for the eclipse. Alyssa enjoyed conducting her research and plans to pursue astronomy when she graduates. "I'd like to work in an observatory if possible," she says. "It's always been my passion." She is excited that the UMass Lowell astronomy program is growing and students will have additional opportunities for study using the University's new Astronomical Observatory beginning in the fall of 2012. "I always loved astronomy and I'm glad their doing more for it," she says. Alyssa graduates this May.