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To inspire and provoke lively discussions, I argue that the accuracy of the basic physical properties of stars, based on analyses of well-observed detached binaries, might be worse than usually believed. I offer some ways how to deal with the situation. I end with a few comments on the studies of extra-solar planets.
Current and planned telescope systems (both on the ground and in space) as well as new technologies will be discussed with emphasis on their impact on the studies of binary star and exoplanet systems. Although no telescopes or space missions are primarily designed to study binary stars (what a pity!), several are available (or will be shortly) to study exoplanet systems. Nonetheless those telescopes and instruments can also be powerful tools for studying binary and variable stars. For example, early microlensing missions (mid-1990s) such as EROS, MACHO and OGLE were initially designed for probing dark matter in the halos of galaxies but, serendipitously, these programs turned out to be a bonanza for the studies of eclipsing binaries and variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds and in the Galactic Bulge. A more recent example of this kind of serendipity is the Kepler Mission. Although Kepler was designed to discover exoplanet transits (and so far has been very successful, returning many planetary candidates), Kepler is turning out to be a “stealth” stellar astrophysics mission returning fundamentally important and new information on eclipsing binaries, variable stars and, in particular, providing a treasure trove of data of all types of pulsating stars suitable for detailed Asteroseismology studies. With this in mind, current and planned telescopes and networks, new instruments and techniques (including interferometers) are discussed that can play important roles in our understanding of both binary star and exoplanet systems. Recent advances in detectors (e.g. laser frequency comb spectrographs), telescope networks (both small and large – e.g. Super-WASP, HAT-net, RoboNet, Las Combres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) Network), wide field (panoramic) telescope systems (e.g. Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and Pan-Starrs), huge telescopes (e.g. the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), the Overwhelming Large Telescope (OWL) and the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT)), and space missions, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the possible NASA Explorer Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS – recently approved for further study) and Gaia (due for launch during 2013) will all be discussed. Also highlighted are advances in interferometers (both on the ground and from space) and imaging now possible at sub-millimeter wavelengths from the Extremely Long Array (ELVA) and Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). High precision Doppler spectroscopy, for example with HARPS, HIRES and more recently the Carnegie Planet Finder Spectrograph, are currently returning RVs typically better than ~2-m/s for some brighter exoplanet systems. But soon it should be possible to measure Doppler shifts as small as ~10-cm/s – sufficiently sensitive for detecting Earth-size planets. Also briefly discussed is the impact these instruments will have on the study of eclipsing binaries, along with future possibilities of utilizing methods from the emerging field of Astroinformatics, including: the Virtual Observatory (VO) and the possibilities of analyzing these huge datasets using Neural Network (NN) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.
Multi-wavelength observational data, obtained from ground-based and space observations are used to compute the physical parameters of the observed Interacting Binaries (IBs) and study the interactions and physical processes in these systems. In addition, the database of IBs from ground-based surveys and space missions will provide light curves for many thousands of new binary systems for which extensive follow up ground-based observations can be carried out. In certain cases, light curves of superior quality will allow studies of fine effects of stellar activity and very accurate determination of stellar parameters. Moreover, many new discoveries of interesting systems are expected from ground-based all-sky surveys and space missions, including low mass binaries and star-planet binary systems. The most important current and future programs of observations of IBs from ground and space are presented.
I present an overview of the techniques used for detecting and following up binaries in nearby galaxies and present the current census of extragalactic binaries, with a focus on eclipsing systems. The motivation for looking in other galaxies is the use of eclipsing binaries as distance indicators and as probes of the most massive stars.
Two upcoming large scale surveys, the ESA Gaia and LSST projects, will bring a new era in astronomy. The number of binary systems that will be observed and detected by these projects is enormous, estimations range from millions for Gaia to several tens of millions for LSST. We review some tools that should be developed and also what can be gained from these missions on the subject of binaries and exoplanets from the astrometry, photometry, radial velocity and their alert systems.
The CoRoT and Kepler space missions have opened a new era in eclipsing binary research. While specifically designed for exoplanet search, they offer as by-products the discovery and monitoring of variable stars, in great majority eclipsing binaries (EB). The missions are therefore providing thousands of EB light curves of unprecedented accuracy (typically a few hundred parts per million, ppm), with regular sampling (from 1s to 29m), extending over time spans of months, and with a very high duty cycle (>90%).
Thanks to this excellent photometry, research topics as asteroseismology of EB components are quickly developing, and physical phenomena such as doppler boosting, theoretically predicted but extremely difficult to observe from the ground, have been unambiguously detected. We present the main properties of the Corot and Kepler EB samples and briefly review the highlights of the missions in this field.
The rapidly-accumulating archives of ground-based and spacecraft data worldwide that are being linked together through the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) provide the binary star community with unparalleled opportunities for research. The main databases that are available to the astronomical community through the IVOA are discussed. Data from long-lasting spacecraft missions such as IUE are especially valuable for studying long-term variability. Some examples of current research on close binary stars that is being carried through with UV spectra from the IUE archive are presented. Included are the search for O-subdwarf companions to bright Be stars and some results from an ongoing investigation of the Double Periodic Variable phenomenon in Algol binaries.
CCD photometric observations of the Algol-type eclipsing binary AT Peg have been obtained. The light curves are analyzed with modern techniques and new geometric and photometric elements are derived. A new orbital period analysis of the system, based on the most reliable timings of minima found in the literature, is presented and apparent period modulations are discussed with respect to the Light-Time effect (LITE) and secular changes in the system. The results of these analyses are compared and interpreted in order to obtain a coherent view of the system's behaviour.
New transit light curves of the third body in the system AV CMi have been obtained. The eclipsing pair's light curves were re-analysed with the W-D code and new absolute elements were derived for the two components. Moreover the new light curves (together with those given by Liakos & Niarchos 2010) of the third body transiting one of the components were analysed with the Photometric Software for Transits (PhoS-T). The results from both analyses are combined with the aim to study the nature of the third component.
One of the handful of known PMS eclipsing binaries is a component of the spectroscopic triple TY CrA. Its secondary component is particularly interesting since it is a star of relatively high mass (1.64 M⊙) which is still on the pre-main sequence. The eclipsing binary was analyzed in the optical wavelength range ~10 years ago, however, the crucial secondary eclipse minimum is very shallow. Therefore, we are obtaining new photometry in both optical and near-IR bands. We present first observations in (BVRI) which show that the secondary eclipse depth increases to about 0.1 mag in the I band. The increased eclipse depth with respect to other bands will help to better determine the colours and dimensions of the system. Furthermore, we show and discuss first near-IR observations of the primary eclipse. In addition to the light curves we are obtaining radial velocities in order to pin down the orbital parameters of the triple. Our first observations agree with the orbital parameters derived ~10 years ago.
The long-period binary system AU Mon was photometrically observed on-board the CoRoT satellite in a continuous run of almost 60 days long which has covered almost 5 complete cycles. Unprecedented sub milimag precision of CoRoT photometry reveals all complexity of its light variations in this, still active mass-transfer binary system. We present images of an accretion disk reconstructed by eclipse mapping, and an optimization of intensity distribution along disk surface. Time resolution and accurate CoRoT photometric measurements allow precise location of spatial distribution of ‘hot’ spots on the disk, and tracing temporal changes in their activity. Clumpy disk structure is similar to those we detected early for another W Serpentis binary W Cru (Pavlovski, Burki & Mimica, 2006, A&A, 454, 855).
The spectrum of strongly interacting binaries, as for example, high and low mass X-ray binaries, symbiotic (X-ray) binaries and/or classical and recurrent novae, consists of more components of radiation contributing from hard X-rays to radio wavelengths. To understand the basic physical processes responsible for the observed spectrum we have to disentangle the composite spectrum into its individual components, i.e. to determine their physical parameters. In this short contribution I demonstrate the method of modeling the multiwavelength SED on the example of the extragalactic super-soft X-ray source RX J0059.1-7505 (LIN 358).
This paper presents high resolution spectroscopy of the HX Vel (IDS 08390-4744 AB) multiple system. New spectroscopic observations of the system were made at Mt. John University Observatory in 2007 and 2008. Radial velocities of both components of HX Vel A were measured using gaussian fitting. The spectroscopic mass ratio of the close binary was determined as 0.599±0.052, according to a Keplerian orbital solution. The resulting orbital elements are a1sini=0.0098±0.0003 AU, a2sini=0.0164±0.0003 AU, M1sin3i=1.19±0.07 M⊙ and M2sin3i=0.71±0.04 M⊙.
In close eclipsing binary systems, measurements of the eclipse timing variations (ETV), obtained by means of accurate light curves, may be used to find circumbinary additional objects. The presence of these objects causes the motion of the eclipsing binary with respect to the centre of mass of the entire system and it results in advances or delays in the times of eclipses due to the light time effect. The most important issue of this project is to inspect the potential of detecting low mass substellar companions to close eclipsing binaries through the timing method. For this purpose, we use the public data from Kepler and CoRoT spacecrafts, collecting the light curves for a selected sample and analyzing the observed minus calculated (O-C) times of the eclipses in the search for ETVs and characterizing them. A large amplitude of the O-C ETVs can be explained in some cases by the presence of a third body in the system.
In the framework of the EVRENA project, high-resolution spectra of northern eclipsing close binaries in stellar groups are obtained with the HERMES Echelle spectrograph at the Mercator telescope (Roque de los Muchachos Observatory). This contribution gives the first results on DV Camelopardalis.
The main goal of this work was to find dependencies between Fourier coefficients, which were developed by light curve fitting with Fourier polynomials. The light curves were acquired from the ASAS database (All Sky Automated Survey). In this statistical research it was necessary to sort and modify these data, because light curves of eclipsing binaries are just part of a bigger database, which contains the light curves of pulsating variable stars, novas etc. It was required to phase and normalize all of our light curves, that it could be possible to use a program to fit light curves with Fourier coefficients. Thereafter, we were looking for relations between Fourier coefficients.
Some developments of measurements of the weak stellar magnetic fields by the least square technique applied to spectropolarimetric data are proposed and used for the X-ray binary Cyg X-1 = HDE 226868 (the optical counterpart is an O 9.7 supergiant).
KIC 4544587 is an eclipsing binary star with clear signs of apsidal motion and indications of tidal resonance. The primary component is an early A-type δ Scuti variable, with a temperature of 8270±250 K, whilst the secondary component is an early G-type main sequence star with a temperature of 6500±310 K. The orbital period of this system is 2.18911(1) d, with the light curve demonstrating a hump after secondary minimum due to distortion and reflection. The frequency spectrum of the residual data (the original data with the binary characteristics removed) contains both pressure (p) and gravity (g) modes. Eight of the g modes are precise multiples of the orbital frequency, to an accuracy greater than 3 σ. This is a signature of resonant excitation.