Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Sherry Fieber-Beyer


This project aimed to perform spectral analysis and classification on eight target stars in the open star cluster NGC 457 with the University of North Dakota Space Studies Observatory. Selected targets came from a search in the SIMBAD database with a radius of two arcseconds around the cluster's center. The eight brightest stars in the visual spectrum were chosen, which did not have luminosity classifications. Six observing sessions were performed over two years to maximize data quality, given the unpredictability of terrestrial observations. Spectral data were acquired in both high- and low-resolution mode. The spectral data were calibrated and analyzed to assign a stellar classification as defined by the Morgan and Keenan (M.K.) classification system. Unfortunately, due to space (cosmic rays) and terrestrial (clouds) weather, as well as technical issues, it was not possible to confidently assign classification type, sub-type, or luminosity due to extremely low photon counts and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the collected spectra. A python program was built and used to calibrate and produce useable line spectra, which can be classified if SNR is adequate. This software and the initial observations of the unclassified targets can be utilized in future research to confirm stellar classification.