2015 Summer Internship – Rodrigo Catalan


Rodrigo Catalan (SuRPS @ HPU)

Rising senior Rodrigo Catalan has been working all summer (through the SuRPS program) with Dr. Barlow on a star system called HD 318015. This system consists of two blue supergiant stars orbiting one another every 23.5 days. Using a previously-obtained light curve, along with a series of 26 high-resolution spectra he took with the 1.5-meter SMARTS telescope in Chile, Rodrigo has “solved” the system and calculated the individual masses of the two stars. His results are remarkable as they imply he has found the highest luminosity binary known to humans! This result must be verified, however, and this will take several weeks.