Light Curve of a Binary System

The Objective

To determine if you can tell from a light curve if a variable star is a binary system.

Methods/Materials

I used the Muhlenberg Observatory 35m telescope to take images of the binary system UNSW-V-444.

I then documented the intensity, magnitude, and correlated it to the time the image was taken.

This data was used to develop the systems light curve.

I then compared my light curve to light curves of known binary systems.

Results

My lightcurve and the lightcurve of the known binary stars followed the similar part of large fluxuation,smaller fluxuations, and then large fluxuation.

Conclusions/Discussion

Because the graphs followed a similar pattern, UNSW-V-444 was proven to be an eclipsing binary system. I concluded that by using this method an astronomer can figure out if a variable star is a binary system.

How an astronomer can tell from a lightcurve whether or not a variable star is a binary system.

Science Fair Project done By April R. Gadsby

 

 

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