2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Time Evolution of the O'Connell Effect in Kepler Binary Star Systems


Gage C. Hahs
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

The O'Connell Effect in a binary star system is characterized by a difference in the out-of-eclipse magnitudes in the binary's light curve. Intuitively, there is no reason why this effect should occur, since comparing two stars side-by-side should give equal overall brightness regardless of which star is on the left or right. We analyze the O'Connell Effect in eclipsing binary star systems from data collected by NASA's Kepler Mission. Using Fourier analysis, we quantify the magnitude of the O'Connell Effect in each system and monitor its magnitude over several orbits ranging over several years. Our results show that the magnitude of the O'Connell Effect changes with time in these systems. We explore the implications of this result concerning how we classify star systems and what stellar mechanisms might be responsible for this interesting behavior in eclipsing star systems.

Keywords: O'Connell Effect, eclipsing binary star systems, Fourier analysis, astronomy, physics, Kepler Mission

Topic(s):Astronomy
Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 306-3
Location: MG 2050
Time: 1:30

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