I have a mid 2009 MacBook Pro with the 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 8GB of RAM. It currently runs OS X 10.6.8, and has about 340GB of free space on its SSD. After researching, it looks like the newest operating system supported on this machine is OS X El Capitan, however, in the App Store on the machine, macOS Catalina is available. Do you know if macOS Catalina would actually run on this machine?
Also, I occasionally use programs which will not run on newer versions of OS X/macOS. Since this machine has so much space available, is it possible to dual boot the current installation of 10.6.8 and a newer clean installation of either El Capitan or Catalina? My primary motivation for updating is gaining access to updated internet browsers, I don't mind many advanced features of the new OS are slow or non-functional due to the age of the hardware.
Thanks for your input.