Student: Josh McRae
Faculty Mentor: Darci Snowden
With the addition of a spectrograph to the Central Washington University Science Center II Observatory 0.6-m Telescope, the detection of extra solar planets using the radial velocity method is possible. As such, tools are needed to help students interpret and understand the data collected. A program was constructed in Python 3.7 that utilized Newton’s law of gravitation to animate an n body simulation and measure the radial velocity of one body. With the radial velocity data, a measurement of an orbiting body’s mass and orbital period can be determined. Students will use the model to simulate theoretical systems to compare with data. Using the simulation allowed for the recreation of measured data from the 51 Pegasi system and calculate data for a simplified Solar System. The next step for the program is to code an algorithm capable of reducing the data from the radial velocity to its components so that multi-planetary systems can be analyzed more efficiently.