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College Hera

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.

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)

Maryland Space Grant Consortium (MDSGC)
Anne Anikis, Assistant Director

Project Conceptualized and Developed by:
Dr. Irina Nelson

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


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration