Gemini North Intern Profiles
David Wyrick, with a Physics degree from Washington State University, is currently working as an intern at Gemini North. David began in December 2014 under his mentor, and Gemini scientist, Andre-Nicolas Chene. His internship runs through early April, 2015.
David’s primary work while at Gemini is developing analysis tools to study the fundamental parameters of clusters observed in the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea survey. Specifically, his work focuses on the study of clusters that (may) contain at least one Wolf-Rayet (WR) star. David has nearly completed the analysis of a dozen clusters and plans to soon begin an investigation of the common characteristics of all galactic clusters with WR stars.
Classical Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars are evolved stars that were born with a mass of at least 20 time the mass of the Sun. However, some WR stars are unevolved stars with masses of the order of 100s of the Sun’s mass. They are losing mass by means of a fast and dense stellar wind and are expected to explode in a supernova within the next 100,000 years.
By studying young star clusters that contain these massive stars, new insights will help scientists understand massive star’s evolution, which is still somewhat of a mystery. David has completed the analysis of a dozen clusters. Currently, he is trying to use his results and those published in literature to investigate the common characteristics of young galactic clusters with WR stars.
David Wyrick poses in front of the Gemini North telescope on a recent observing run.
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Other interns previously featured this year…