By Hale Bradt
Bridges the distance among physics and astronomy texts for undergraduate and graduate scholars.
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Additional resources for Astrophysics processes: the physics of astronomical phenomena
4b. An actual (partial) eclipsing system, Algol, is shown schematically in Fig. 5. It contains one main-sequence star (B8 V) and one subgiant (K2 IV). 9 days. 9 yr. The system is ∼100 LY distant, and the close pair are separated by 14 R⊙ . Their separation is thus only ∼2 milliarcsec, and so they appear as a single star through most telescopes. Those now equipped with optical interferometry do resolve the components of this triple system. 3) is a measure of the stellar color or temperature T and that this in turn determines the energy outflow per unit area from the stellar surface, which is approximately = sT4 W/m2 , the flux density from P1: RPU/...
1) P1: RPU/... 2 Binary star systems 0° (N) Alpha Centauri 2030 0Љ Line of nodes p ⍀ 5Љ 10Љ 2020 Periastron 90° (E) 270°(W) 2010 2040 1960 2000 Apastron 180° (S) 1970 1980 Fig. 2: The α Centauri visual binary system. This is a plot of the positions projected onto the plane of the sky of one of the two stars relative to the other as a function of time (years). The origin is one of the components and the radial distances are in arcseconds (see scale). The track of the star in the plot is the projection of an ellipse, which is also an ellipse, but with shifted focus.
After Menzel, Whipple, and deVaucouleurs, Survey of the Universe, Prentice Hall, 1970, p. 467] The stars in eclipsing systems are sufficiently close to each other that they can not be resolved on a traditional optical photograph; they appear to be a single star. The binary character is detected by the reduction of light emanating from the system during eclipse. Modern high-resolution imaging such as interferometry or adaptive optics, however, can sometimes resolve the two stellar components in these systems.