Modeling the Binary Central Star of the Planetary Nebula Lo 16

Faculty Sponsor

Todd Hillwig


Arts and Sciences


Physics & Astronomy

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Celebration Date

Spring 5-2-2015


Binary central stars of planetary nebulae (CSPNs) have become increasingly popular in exploring the evolution of planetary nebulae (PN). For this project, I plan to model one binary CSPN in particular, PN Lo 16, using existing light and radial velocity curves. The central star of Lo 16 is an eclipsing binary system and both stars have visible spectral features. These features allow me to determine the physical parameters of the system. From this model I have obtained, for both stars, their effective temperatures (T), surface gravity (log g), radius (R), mass (M), and Luminosity (L). I have also determined the orbital period of the binary (days), orbital separation (a), and orbital inclination (i) of the system. I present the results here.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Brendan Ferris is a senior physics major with a minor in mathematics and computer science. The project was inspired by his interest in astronomy and astrophysics and is his senior research project for the department. Currently, Brendan plans to either attend graduate school in condensed matter physics or find a job working in the green energy industry.

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