Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level





Lehmer, Bret

Committee Member/Reader

Kennefick, Julia

Committee Member/Second Reader

Kaman, Tulin

Committee Member/Third Reader

Levine, Bill


In most normal galaxies, the most X-ray luminous sources are high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs), which are binary star systems that contain compact objects (black holes or neutron stars) accreting from massive (> 8M⊙) companion stars. These HMXBs are thought to have been important sources of ionizing emission within star-forming galaxies that may have contributed to the heating of the intergalatic medium (gas over large cosmic scales) in the early Universe. When studying how HMXBs contribute to interstellar medium feedback, a single spectral shape of an absorbed power-law is typically assumed to be universal. The goal of this thesis is to take the next step in constructing a more realistic model of how HMXB spectra depend on their luminosity and host-galaxy metallicity (i.e., elemental abundance). Quantifying this relationship is particularly important to predict the X-ray spectra from galaxies from the early Universe that have different physical properties than local galaxies and observed directly by X-ray observatories. To do this, this thesis will analyze the HMXB spectra from a low metallicity galaxy: NGC3310.


X-ray spectra, X-ray binary stars, metallicity, NGC3310, spectral fitting process, color-color map