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NStarOrbits: A new tool to study stellar orbits at the Galactic center

Presentation #302.20 in the session Computation, Data Handling, Image Analysis — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
NStarOrbits: A new tool to study stellar orbits at the Galactic center

Over the past two decades, the UCLA Galactic Center has used new technologies that have greatly increased the number of stars with precise measurements of astrometric positions and radial velocities. This growing data set gives an exciting opportunity to expand our understanding of the physics and environment surrounding a supermassive black hole. But, these new observational data necessitate more sophisticated analysis methodologies and computational tools that currently do not exist. To this end, we present NStarOrbits: a modular, efficient, and flexible orbit fitting tailored to the needs of Galactic center physics. NStarOrbits is designed to have these capabilities while simultaneously fitting a large number of stars to constrain a variety of different physical and astrophysical models. For example, NStarOrbits is over 100 times faster than our previous method when fitting 3 stars simultaneously. In addition, NStarOrbits provides a suite of statistical analysis tools that will enable us to address a wide array of scientific questions from Galactic center physics but can also apply to other contexts such as exoplanets.

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