2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Analysis of Lightcurve Asymmetries in Eclipsing Binary Stars


Brent R. Koogler* and Jordan Shroyer
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

In this work, we study the O’Connell effect which describes the asymmetry in the out of eclipse maxima in Eclipsing Binary (EB) systems. To this end, we use the Python programming language to investigate light curves of EB systems by processing the precise, longitudinal data from the space-based Kepler and TESS missions. We programmatically download data from these missions from the MAST website, calculate a Lomb-Scargle Periodogram for each object, and fit the resulting phase folded data with twelve term Fourier fits. For each orbital cycle, the Fourier coefficients are used to analyze the asymmetries in the light curves. We quantify the asymmetries in the light curves by comparing the area under the primary and secondary maxima for each cycle. The ultimate objective of this project is to test the starspot model for the O’Connell effect over several 100, if not 1000s of orbital cycles.

Keywords: Eclipsing Binary Stars, Light Curve Asymmetries, O'Connell Effect, Kepler, Tess

Topic(s):Astronomy

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 210-2
Location: MC 211
Time: 10:30

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