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Eclipsing Binaries

Instructors and high school and college students at several schools are interested in making time-series photometric observations of eclipsing binaries as a follow up to survey programs such as Gaia, ZTF, and ASAS-AN. We have access to a number of fully robotic half-meter class telescopes, as well as several student research teams for analysis, paper writing, and presentation of results at conferences. We would like to provide dense, multi-color, time-series photometric coverage as a follow up to a number of the eclipsing binary systems discovered by surveys that, while they only have a few observations of several eclipses, at least have a rough estimate of epochs and periods.

Our plan, initially, is to make follow up observations of a few of the 21,515 ASAS-AN program’s newly discovered, detached, Algol-type binaries. See

The PlaneWave Instruments robotic telescopes we have access to utilize direct drives with high resolution encoders, and thus are capable of high speed, precision slews between targets. This allows them to provide fairly dense coverage of more than one binary undergoing an eclipse at the same time, rapidly slewing in a round-robin manner between each binary observation.

We plan, as a pilot project, to simultaneously observe multiple eclipsing binaries with a 0.6-meter PlaneWave Instruments telescope located at the El Sauce Observatory in the Chilean desert. A new scheduling plugin for NINA 3.0 will be used to direct the observations.

An example of a new ASAS-AN discovery of EA (Algol) type eclipsing binary, extracted from their online catalog (, is shown below. As can be seen the primary eclipse only has a dozen or so points, while the secondary eclipse (if indeed it is an eclipse) only has one point. The objective of our project would be to obtain primary and secondary eclipses with many more points in multiple color bands.




ASASSN-V J000026.84+393855.4 (0.11182, 39.64871)


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