Eclipsing variable star
Wood, Frank Bradshaw Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Velocity curves
- Light curve
- Absolute dimensions
- Evolutionary changes
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A double star system in which the two components are too close to be seen separately but which reveal their duplicity by periodic changes in brightness as each star successively passes between the other and the Earth, that is, eclipses the other. Studies of the light changes and the radial velocity changes of each component permit the computation of the radii, masses, and densities of the components—important quantities that cannot be measured directly in single stars. In addition, these close double stars are useful in studies of mass loss and of stellar evolution. Because eclipsing stars are variable in light, they are included in general variable star catalogs under the same system of nomenclature. See also: Binary star; Variable star
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