Natalie Gosnell

Graduate Student

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Office: 6283C Chamberlin Hall

Research Interests:

I am interested in how close stellar encounters dynamically alter the population of open clusters.  For my thesis, I’m investigating the formation mechanism of blue straggler stars.  I use Hubble photometry to directly detect their white dwarf companions in order to map out the mass transfer history of these fascinating stellar products.

CV (PDF)

Biography:

Here is an ADS search of all my papers and conference presentations.

I am a sixth-year graduate student working with Professor Bob Mathieu.  I also collaborate closely with Professor Dave Pooley at Sam Houston State University.

I received my B.A. in Physics from Colorado College in May 2008 and my M.S. in Astronomy from UW - Madison in May 2010.  My dissertation topic focuses on observational evidence for close stellar interactions in open clusters, focusing on the X-ray binary and blue straggler populations.  Our research group was awarded time on the Hubble Space Telescope to obtain far-UV imaging of the blue straggler population of NGC 188.  The far-UV data revealed that the blue stragglers in NGC 188 exist in blue straggler-white dwarf binaries, which is indicative of a mass transfer formation history.  I am also completing a survey of X-ray sources in open clusters using data from XMM - Newton, searching for possible trends between the number of X-ray binaries and the cluster dynamical encounter frequency.

In the fall of 2013 I independently taught Introductory Physics I as a Visiting Lecturer at Colorado College under their block plan schedule.  In the Fall of 2011 I was a teaching assistant for Astronomy 113, Hands on the Universe, with Professor Snezana Stanimirovic. In the Spring of 2009 I was the Teaching Assistant for Astronomy 103 taught by Professor Jay Gallagher.  I also regularly mentor students in the department's summer REU program.

My Publications

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