College of Science

Jose Barrios

Jose Barrios

Using data gathered from the Chandra X-ray Space Telescope, I am investigating the high-energy properties of massive, runaway stars that drive stellar wind bow shocks and locations with large OB star populations. The motivation behind this research was to find out if the driving stars of these bow shocks produce a significant number of x-rays that go into the Galaxy like previously predicted. During the summer I catalogued a large amount of field stars within 5’ of the nominal point of the Chandra observations we used. With the help of a fellow Cal Poly Pomona student we looked at the differences in the driving stars and the field stars in over 100 observations. We also fit X-ray spectral models to the data for many, many stars, using a program called XSPEC. These models allowed us to infer the luminosity of the stars. This semester we are rigorously comparing the modeled properties of bow shock driving stars to the field OB stars that do not drive bow shocks. Although it is commonly assumed that runaway stars and similar to field stars, we hope to demonstrate whether this assumption is valid or not.