2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Study of the Variable O'Connell Effect in Over-Contact Eclipsing Binaries
Vijay Koju
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

The OConnell effect is an asymmetry in the maxima of the light curves of eclipsing binary star systems. Observations from ground-based telescopes have shown that this effect is observed in a relatively small proportion of eclipsing binaries. In this study, we use data from the space-based Kepler mission, which allows for continuous monitoring of these systems for hundreds of orbits. We investigated the OConnell effect in over-contact binaries by extracting the data for each cycle, performing a fourier-fit, and determining the value of Δm the asymmetry in successive maxima in the light curve. Our analysis shows that contrary to previous studies, the OConnell effect is fairly common in eclipsing binaries. Additionally, our study shows that the variable OConnell effect in over-contact binaries is consistent with the migrating starspot model; at least for certain types of eclipsing binaries.

Keywords: Eclipsing Binaries, O'Connell Effect, Light Curve, Kepler Mission

Topic(s):Astronomy

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 205-3
Location: MG 1096
Time: 10:00

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