Identifying Eclipsing Star Systems using Light Curves

  • Released Friday, June 21, 2024
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This data visualization presents a comprehensive view of four different hypothetical binary star systems, highlighting their stellar orbits and light curves. The top row offers a top-down perspective of each binary system, illustrating the stars (white spheres) and their elliptical orbits around each other. The middle row provides a side-on view of the same systems, offering a simulated perspective as if observed from Earth, assuming the systems' orbital planes are aligned similarly to the ecliptic plane of our Solar System. The bottom row displays the observed light curves for each system, graphically representing the cumulative brightness of the stars over time.

This data visualization follows the same format as the binary star system visualization above, but it features a hypothetical quadruple star system. In this visualization, each star is assigned a different color.

A top-down view of TIC 168789840, a sextuple eclipsing star system. The orbital period for each binary system pair is labeled. Note that orbits and star sizes are not drawn to scale. The orbits in this visualization are also sped up for visual clarity.


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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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This page was originally published on Friday, June 21, 2024.
This page was last updated on Friday, June 21, 2024 at 1:46 PM EDT.