Physics and Astronomy

Star Cluster Photometry


Photometric analysis is a method applied to nearly all celestial objects. It is executed by examining the electromagnetic flux of a given object, and using the results to determine characteristics about the object. One such characteristic of an object, such as in the case of a star, is the spectral type, which can be determined by comparing the flux through two different filters of different effective wavelength midpoints. With the aid of the IDL Programming Language and data collected from an 8-inch reflecting telescope and a CCD camera, one can determine several characteristics of star clusters. Specifically, when the cluster such as the Orion Nebula Cluster has a well studied star for use as a reference, one can create a Hertzprung-Russell Diagram of the cluster, as well as determine the cluster’s approximate age.

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