Christina Aragona - Optical Spectroscopy of y-Ray Binaries

Christina Aragona
Department of Physics
High mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) that also produce very high energy radiation on the order of MeV–TeV (?-ray binaries) are a rare and interesting class of objects: only four such objects have been discovered to date.  We have obtained optical spectra from several of these objects  in the past year, including a new source just discovered in the fall of 2008.  We present an analysis of these optical spectra as part of a multi-wavelength campaign to study the stellar/companion interactions and determine the mechanism producing the high energy emission.
We gratefully acknowledge support from NASA grant # NNX08AV70G and Lehigh University.
Christina Aragona is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Physics.  She earned a bachelor's degree in physics and music in 2005 from Drew University and a master's degree in physics from Lehigh University in 2008.  She now works with Dr. Virginia McSwain and is pursing her doctorate in physics at Lehigh.