2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Differential Photometry and Modeling of Contact Eclipsing Binary Systems
Nicholas J. Wilsey
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

Multiple-star systems are more abundant in the universe than single-star systems like our Sun. The study of a special class of multiple-star systems, called contact eclipsing binaries, is particularly important to astrophysicists because it allows a direct determination of fundamental stellar parameters like mass, radius, temperature, and luminosity. Moreover, significant mass transfer occurs between the stars in the contact eclipsing binary system, altering the evolutionary tracks of the stars and providing a strict test for models of stellar evolution. Photometric light curves in multiple filters for two contact eclipsing binary systems were acquired with the 14-inch telescope at the Truman Observatory and the NURO 31-inch telescope at Lowell Observatory in Arizona, yielding possible solutions for orbital and physical parameters of the components. Results of ongoing research, including spectroscopic radial velocity determination, will also be discussed.

Keywords: astronomy, astrophysics, photometry, eclipsing binary, physics, star


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 42-4
Location: VH 1416
Time: 2:00

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