2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Neglected Binary Star Parameters Determined From Archival Images and Direct Observation
Chenghu Li
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

Knowledge of the orbital parameters of binary star systems is critical to understanding stellar properties and stellar evolution. Of the 150,000 known or suspected binary star systems, one-third do not have well-determined values of separation or position angle, and are called “neglected binaries”. High resolution images of the sky spanning almost 50 years are available for download from the internet, and constitute a valuable resource for research on the time evolution of binary star systems. In this research project, a methodology was developed for extracting separation and position angle for binary star systems from these archival images. Well-studied binary systems were examined first, in order to establish the precision and accuracy of our methodology. Next, the separation and position angle for over 20 neglected binary stars were determined from archival images. Finally, these same parameters were measured directly at the Truman Observatory.

Keywords: Binary star, astronomy, neglected binaries, orbitial parameters

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 60-71
Location: OP Lobby and Atrium
Time: 4:15

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