Ellen Thompson

Stray Light Analysis

For the past 2 semesters, I have been working with observations of accreting compact objects (such as binary systems containing a speculated black hole) made by the NuSTAR X-ray telescope. My work focuses on stray light, the result of photons bypassing the instrument’s optics and landing directly on the detector array. I have written a python program that takes in observation event files and outputs region files highlighting areas that contain stray light. This summer, I will be refining this program as well as applying it to the process of making spectra for the stray light observations; I will also be carrying out any additional tasks for the stray light project that are delegated to me.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much for supporting this opportunity! As a first-generation, low-income student, I am grateful beyond words to be getting funded for doing research I enjoy. Thanks to you, I will be able to really focus on this project - one of the first steps towards my future career as an astrophysicist - over the course of this summer.
  • Major: Astrophysics
  • Mentor: John Tomsick, Space Science Laboratory