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.



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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