This talk was given at the NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship virtual symposium on February 10, 2021. Note that gifs and videos won't render in this pdf.
Abstract: One of the best laboratories to study strong-field gravity is the inner 100s of kilometers around black holes and neutron stars in binary systems with low-mass stars like our Sun. The X-ray light curves of these systems show variability on timescales from milliseconds to months — the rapid variability can appear as quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs), which may be produced by general relativistic effects. My research looks at QPOs from black holes and neutron stars by applying state-of-the-art “spectral-timing” techniques to constrain the physical origin of these signals. Here I will present the three facets of compact objects in my NSF fellowship: scientific results, the Stingray open-source spectral-timing software package, and doing outreach with school classes in these COVID times.