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# NAAP Eclipsing Binary Stars Lab — Pedagogical Objectives

## General Vocabulary/Concepts

• Importance of binary stars in determining stellar masses
• Importance of eclipsing binary stars in determining stellar masses and radii
• Brightness of an eclipsing binary system varies due to eclipses

(the stars passing in front of each other along our line of sight)

• Inclination and Eclipse relationship

Eclipses are impossible for inclination = 0° and increase in likelihood as inclination increases. Eclipses must occur when inclination = 0°.

## Center of Mass

• Given the masses and separation of the stars in a binary system, students should be able to estimate location of the center of mass
• Given the mass of one star and the location of the center of mass, students should be able to estimate the mass of the other star

## Temperature and Color of Stars

• Given several stars of different colors/surface temperatures, students should be able to identify: the hottest star, the coolest star, the star most like the sun.
• Given either the color, spectral type, or surface temperature, students should be able to crudely estimate the other two quantities

## Luminosity

• Students should understand that luminosity depends on both radius and surface temperature.
• Given the surface temperature and radius of a star in integer values of solar units, students should be able to calculate the luminosity

## Light Curve Features

• how a light curve is constructed
• Students should understand the circumstances under which total eclipses (flat bottoms) and partial eclipses (pointed bottoms) occur
• Students should understand that eclipses will not be evenly spaced in time when eccentricity is not zero
• Given a description of a binary system, students should be able to select the corresponding light curve from a list of light curves