Green, Richard F. National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tuscon, Arizona.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Binary stars
- Variable stars
- Interacting binaries
- Exotic objects
- Gravitational microlensing
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Graphs of the intensity of radiation from astronomical objects as they change with time. Variations may be caused by the changing perspective from the Earth of two stars in orbit around each other, by pulsations that change an individual star's size and surface temperature, by mass ejection or accretion, by explosions, by beams of radiation sweeping across the line of sight from the Earth, or by clouds of very high-energy electrons in powerful magnetic fields. The information contained in the light curve includes the timing of events, such as eclipses or pulses, and the amplitude of changes in the radiation received at Earth.
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