Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Survey of X-Ray Binaries

What's an X-Ray binary? - Alex Terris - an undergraduate Physics and Astronomy student from the University of Southampton on the 'Design in Gamma Ray Astronomy' course in Tenerife - tells me that it's either "a black hole or a neutron star (a dead star - very dense) orbiting a normal star (like our sun)."

Alex and Group 5 are exploring the magnetic fields of all the X-Ray binaries in the Milky Way. There are about 400 that we know of at the moment and their mission would last about 5 years.

The group have to work out how the X-Rays from the binary systems travel, (nice animation of polarization needed here!). They want to compare the magnetic fields of different types of binaries.

(Group 5: Alex Terris, Jose Sanchez, Emilio Trigueros, Ruben Sanchez, Adam White and Michaelangelo Siracusa).


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