New Generation Modeling Developments and Results for Binary Stars

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E.F. Milone, Co-Director of the RAO.
University of Calgary. Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

These topical meeting took place during the 190th AAS meeting (in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) on June 10, 1997. The program lasted half a day, from 08:30 to 12:30. The well-attended session concluded with a poster review by Walter Van Hamme and a round-table discussion about the philosophy and future of light-curve modeling codes.

Meeting Justification[1]

The advances in modeling eclipsing binary light curves (generically including polarimetric, spectrophotometric, radial velocity curves, spectral line profiles, spectral indices, and other observables) were last reviewed in 1991 at the IAU meeting in Argentina (cf. Milone 1993 for these proceedings).

The field continues to develop, and since the light curve models and codes are depended on to produce the most reliable radii and masses among other fundamental properties of stars, it is appropriate for another meeting to be held to review the improvements of the models and of the programs which implement them. The new model improvements include more realistic spot simulations, radiative transfer treatment of eclipses of atmospheric clouds, improved radiation interactions between the components, non-linear limb-darkening, and non-solar metallicities. Code improvements include improved integration and convergence techniques; modularization of light curve analysis programs. The discovery of large numbers of eclipsing variable stars in the galactic bulge from gravitational lensing projects means that new techniques may be required to further increase the efficiency of the analysis process, hence the recent interest in the possible usefulness of neural nets.

Finally, a number of issues raised in Argentina have not been resolved. The philosophy of model development and questions of responsibility for model and technique implementation and the codes themselves need further discussion in as open a forum as the community can provide. Indeed this concern is much broader than the light curve modeling area, and will be of interest to a still wider audience.

All listed speakers have now agreed to participate; titles are subject to change. All papers will emphasize results of the applications to binary star studies and to other areas of astronomy.

Event Proceedings for Session 22

Poster Papers Presented in Session 31

More Information

An important outcome of the meeting was the creation of a community list-server for binary star modeling by Stefan Mochnacki of the David Dunlap Observatory, University of Toronto. Contact Stefan at to join this list. Or review the list-server subscription page for more information.

Complete papers will be gathered together in a hard-bound spiral bound publication available for $10 US, payable to the University of Calgary. This fee will cover costs, including postage. Prepaid requests may be sent to:

The Department of Physics & Astronomy
The University of Calgary

2500 University Dr. N.W.
Calgary, Alberta. T2N 1N4

For furthur information about the sessions please write to

[1] Milone, E. F., 'Light Curve Modeling of Eclipsing Binary Stars'. (New York: Springer-Verlag), 1993.

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Posted on 05 January 1998 by:
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