WEEK 6: Loading Bar

Payton B -

This week, I got stuck. Last week, I finished analyzing data for all of the stars that were downloaded on the computer that I am using. That means this week, I needed to download the remaining stars onto the computer, but it takes over hours to download each star and the code often crashes which means I had to be by the computers ready to rerun the program if it ever crashed. This means that my week was spent staring at a loading screen of code for hours. Since I had nothing else to do while it loaded, I decided to do two things in the meantime. The first thing that I did was work on a side coding project in order to keep my skills up so that I don’t start forgetting anything. The other thing that I did was do some research on Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs).

LBVs are very rare and massive stars that are often unpredictable. These unpredictable changes are seen in their spectra and brightness. They will sometimes randomly become more or less bright. I had already done quite a bit of research on generally what LBVs are before the project so most of my research went into looking more in-depth about the specific stars.

In a previous week, I said that the stars HD 5980 and HD 6884 were weird stars but I did not know why exactly they were considered weird. It turns out that these stars are both in the Small Magellanic Cloud as opposed to the Large Magellanic Cloud that most of the stars appear in. Both the large and the small Magellanic Clouds are considered irregular galaxies. They too spiral like most galaxies however they are both near a larger galaxy with a stronger gravitational pull which is distorting them. I still do not yet know how being in another galaxy makes the two stars abnormal compared to other LBVs however I will continue to do research on the topic. 

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    Hi Payton! It’s so impressive that you are doing a side coding project alongside your research. Have you found that the coding part of this project is the most difficult aspect?
    Taylor Phelan
    Wassup Payton, what a cool side project! Were you expecting to be waiting this much and looking at a loading screen when you first started your project, or was this an unexpected development?
    Hi Payton! This sounds so cool! Is it easy to fix the coding when it crashes?

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