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Light curves of short period eclipsing binary stars. (Senior Division).

The periods for many Algol eclipsing binary stars, two stars orbiting each other, have not been updated since 1950. Analysis of the light curves of the eclipsing binary stars can determine a more accurate period for the star system. This research is divided into three sections: the observation, reduction and analysis of light curves. In the observational section, six eclipsing binary star systems are selected and CCD images are taken of the selected stars over six night observing sessions using a 24-inch telescope. The reduction of the data includes noise reduction and flattening. It also includes the process of collecting the counts produced by the star in each image, which are then converted to magnitudes. The last part of the process is the production of light curves for each star, which provides information on the period, mass, and radii of the eclipsing binary star. The observation and reduction processes of this research are complete and prove to be reliable. Through the analysis of the light curve for the star GW Tau a more accurate period is being determined.

Stephanie M. Fawcett, Boulder High School.
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Author:Fawcett, Stephanie M.
Publication:Journal of the Colorado-Wyoming Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
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