Eclipsing Binary Simulation
Orbiting stars which are separated by a small distance may pass in front
of one another. It is not possible for astronomers to see the individual
stars, but there will be a change in the total light coming from the two
stars when they "eclipse" one another. This simulation shows how
this eclipse happens.
We have the following definitions:
|Inclination angle ||Angle
of the orbital plane of the stars to our line-of-sight. |
- 0o - edge on
- 90o - face on
|Separation ||The distance between the two stars in solar radii.
|Star 1 or Star 2
||The spectral type of the stars.
- Adjust the inclination angle, separation, and star types.
- Click "enter values" to update the simulation parameters.
- Use "pause" to start and stop the simulation, if desired.
- If the picture is messed up at anytime, use "clear graph" to
EXAMPLE TO TRY:
separation to 6.
- Change star 2 to "F".
Please note then:
- The flat bottom light curve because star 2
is completely inside (or behind) star.
- Note that when the F-star is
in front of the A-star light from the system is reduced more than when the
F-star is behind the A-star.
- This is because the F-star is
cooler than the A-star.