Special Issue "Astrophysics of Eclipsing Binaries in the Era of Space-Borne Telescopes"

A special issue of Galaxies (ISSN 2075-4434).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 July 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Kosmas Gazeas
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, Department of Physics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Interests: Eclipsing binary evolution models; optical instrumentation and space optics; stellar occultations by asteroids TNO and KPO objects; exoplanets; long-term monitoring of blazars

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Eclipsing binaries are one of the most efficient tools in stellar astrophysics and they play an important role in the investigation of certain evolution channels. In parallel, space-borne telescopes offer a wealth of information on stellar astrophysics, exoplanets, and multiple system dynamics. Today, high-accuracy astrometric and photometric data are available, while the space era opens a new window in the science of eclipsing binaries. The impact of large photometric surveys and big data statistics in stellar evolution is huge, and specially designed tools for analyzing the vast number of discovered systems are being developed and lead towards a new way of stellar modeling. The formation and evolution of massive binaries, low-temperature contact binaries, and stellar merger candidates are some of the unresolved issues in modern stellar evolution. In addition, the discovery of circumbinary planets shed light on the planetary formation environment and properties. On the other hand, asteroseismology and stellar pulsations triggered in binary and multiple systems offer a unique opportunity to study stellar interior and investigate the invisible stellar structure.

The aim of this Special Issue is to review and present the most modern knowledge on eclipsing binary studies in the era of space-borne telescopes, robotic sky surveys, and artificial intelligence pipelines and data reduction processes. Special emphasis is given to understanding the physical properties, structure, and evolution of stars within stellar systems, which, in turn, will lead to knowledge of the origin of eclipsing binaries through their stellar progenitors. Some of the key topics to be covered are outlined in the following list:

  • Eclipsing binaries in the GAIA era
  • Large photometric surveys on eclipsing binaries
  • Formation and evolution of binary systems – stellar mergers
  • Circumbinary planets
  • Magnetically active binaries
  • Pulsation in binaries
  • New approaches to physical modeling of binary stars

Submission of reviews, as well as focused research articles, are welcome!

Prof. Kosmas Gazeas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Galaxiesis an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • eclipsing binaries
  • stellar evolution
  • space-borne data
  • photometric surveys
  • planetary systems in binary stars
  • artificial intelligence and automatic pipelines for eclipsing binary processing

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
On the Modeling of Algol-Type Binaries
Galaxies 2021, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9010019 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
In earlier papers, we presented a binary evolutionary code for the purpose of reproducing the orbital parameters, masses, radii, and location in the Hertzsprung Russell diagram (abbreviated as HRD) of well-observed Algol systems. In subsequent versions, the effects of mass and angular momentum [...] Read more.
In earlier papers, we presented a binary evolutionary code for the purpose of reproducing the orbital parameters, masses, radii, and location in the Hertzsprung Russell diagram (abbreviated as HRD) of well-observed Algol systems. In subsequent versions, the effects of mass and angular momentum losses and tidal coupling were included in order to produce the observed distributions of orbital periods and mass ratios of Algol-type binaries. The mass loss includes stellar wind and possible liberal evolution, when the gainer star is not capable to absorb all of the matter during mass transfer from the donor star. We added magnetic braking to our code to better reproduce the observed equatorial velocities. Large equatorial velocities of mass-gaining stars are now lowered by tidal interaction and magnetic braking. Tides are mainly at work at short orbital periods, leaving magnetic braking alone at work during longer orbital periods. The observed values of the equatorial velocities of mass gainers in Algol-type binaries are mostly well reproduced by our code. According to our models, Algols have short periods with a strong magnetic field. Full article
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Article
A Modified Kwee–Van Woerden Method for Eclipse Minimum Timing with Reliable Error Estimates
Galaxies 2021, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9010001 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 635
Abstract
The Kwee–van Woerden (KvW) method used for the determination of eclipse minimum times has been a staple in eclipsing binary research for decades, due its simplicity and the independence of external input parameters, which also makes it well-suited to obtaining timings of exoplanet [...] Read more.
The Kwee–van Woerden (KvW) method used for the determination of eclipse minimum times has been a staple in eclipsing binary research for decades, due its simplicity and the independence of external input parameters, which also makes it well-suited to obtaining timings of exoplanet transits. However, its estimates of the timing error have been known to have a low reliability. During the analysis of very precise photometry of CM Draconis eclipses from TESS space mission data, KvW’s original equation for the timing error estimate produced numerical errors, which evidenced a fundamental problem in this equation. This contribution introduces an improved approach for calculating the timing error with the KvW method. A code that implements this improved method, together with several further updates of the original method, are presented. An example of the application to CM Draconis light curves from TESS is given. The eclipse minimum times are derived with the KvW method’s three original light curve folds, but also with five and seven folds. The use of five or more folds produces minimum timings with a substantially better precision. The improved method of error calculation delivers consistent timing errors which are in excellent agreement with error estimates obtained by other means. In the case of TESS data from CM Draconis, minimum times with an average precision of 1.1 s are obtained. Reliable timing errors are also a valuable indicator for evaluating if a given scatter in an O-C diagram is caused by measurement errors or by a physical period variation. Full article
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Article
Asteroseismic Analysis of δ Scuti Components of Binary Systems: The Case of KIC 8504570
Galaxies 2020, 8(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies8040075 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 644
Abstract
The present work concerns the Asteroseismology of the Kepler-detached eclipsing binary KIC 8504570. Particularly, it focuses on the pulsational behaviour of the oscillating component of this system and the estimation of its physical parameters in order to enrich the so far poor sample of systems of this kind. Using spectroscopic observations, the spectral type of the primary component was determined and used to create accurate light curve models and estimate its absolute parameters. The light curve residuals were subsequently analysed using Fourier transformation techniques to obtain the pulsation models. Theoretical models of δ Scuti stars were employed to identify the oscillation modes of the six detected independent frequencies of the pulsator. In addition, more than 385 combination frequencies were also detected. The absolute and the pulsational properties of the δ Scuti star of this system are discussed and compared with all the currently known similar cases. Moreover, using a recent(empirical) luminosity–pulsation period relationship for δ Scuti stars, the distance of the system was estimated. Full article
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Review

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Review
Eclipsing Systems with Pulsating Components (Types β Cep, δ Sct, γ Dor or Red Giant) in the Era of High-Accuracy Space Data
Galaxies 2021, 9(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9020028 - 28 Apr 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Eclipsing systems are essential objects for understanding the properties of stars and stellar systems. Eclipsing systems with pulsating components are furthermore advantageous because they provide accurate constraints on the component properties, as well as a complementary method for pulsation mode determination, crucial for [...] Read more.
Eclipsing systems are essential objects for understanding the properties of stars and stellar systems. Eclipsing systems with pulsating components are furthermore advantageous because they provide accurate constraints on the component properties, as well as a complementary method for pulsation mode determination, crucial for precise asteroseismology. The outcome of space missions aiming at delivering high-accuracy light curves for many thousands of stars in search of planetary systems has also generated new insights in the field of variable stars and revived the interest of binary systems in general. The detection of eclipsing systems with pulsating components has particularly benefitted from this, and progress in this field is growing fast. In this review, we showcase some of the recent results obtained from studies of eclipsing systems with pulsating components based on data acquired by the space missions Kepler or TESS. We consider different system configurations including semi-detached eclipsing binaries in (near-)circular orbits, a (near-)circular and non-synchronized eclipsing binary with a chemically peculiar component, eclipsing binaries showing the heartbeat phenomenon, as well as detached, eccentric double-lined systems. All display one or more pulsating component(s). Among the great variety of known classes of pulsating stars, we discuss unevolved or slightly evolved pulsators of spectral type B, A or F and red giants with solar-like oscillations. Some systems exhibit additional phenomena such as tidal effects, angular momentum transfer, (occasional) mass transfer between the components and/or magnetic activity. How these phenomena and the orbital changes affect the different types of pulsations excited in one or more components, offers a new window of opportunity to better understand the physics of pulsations. Full article
Review
Study of Eclipsing Binaries: Light Curves & O-C Diagrams Interpretation
Galaxies 2020, 8(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies8040078 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 735
Abstract
The continuous improvement in observational methods of eclipsing binaries, EBs, yield more accurate data, while the development of their light curves, that is magnitude versus time, analysis yield more precise results. Even so, and in spite the large number of EBs and the [...] Read more.
The continuous improvement in observational methods of eclipsing binaries, EBs, yield more accurate data, while the development of their light curves, that is magnitude versus time, analysis yield more precise results. Even so, and in spite the large number of EBs and the huge amount of observational data obtained mainly by space missions, the ways of getting the appropriate information for their physical parameters etc. is either from their light curves and/or from their period variations via the study of their (O-C) diagrams. The latter express the differences between the observed, O, and the calculated, C, times of minimum light. Thus, old and new light curves analysis methods of EBs to obtain their principal parameters will be considered, with examples mainly from our own observational material, and their subsequent light curves analysis using either old or new methods. Similarly, the orbital period changes of EBs via their (O-C) diagrams are referred to with emphasis on the use of continuous methods for their treatment in absence of sudden or abrupt events. Finally, a general discussion is given concerning these two topics as well as to a few related subjects. Full article
Review
Close Binary Perspectives
Galaxies 2020, 8(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies8030057 - 03 Aug 2020
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Development of analytic binary star models is discussed in historical and on-going perspective, beginning with an overview of paradigm shifts, the merits of direct (rectification-free) models, and fundamental four-type binary system morphology. Attention is called to the likelihood that many or even most [...] Read more.
Development of analytic binary star models is discussed in historical and on-going perspective, beginning with an overview of paradigm shifts, the merits of direct (rectification-free) models, and fundamental four-type binary system morphology. Attention is called to the likelihood that many or even most cataclysmic variables may be of the double contact morphological type. Eclipsing binary distance estimates differ from those of standard candles in being individually measurable—without reliance on (usually nearby) objects that are assumed similar. Recent progress on circumstellar accretion disk models is briefly summarized, with emphasis on the separate roles of fluid dynamic, structural, and analytic models. Time-related parameters (ephemeris, apsidal motion, and light travel time) now can be found with a unified algorithm that processes light curves, velocity curves, and pre-existing eclipse timings together, without need to compute any new timings. Changes in data publication practices are recommended and logical errors and inconsistencies in terminology are noted. Parameter estimation strategies are discussed. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

The following authors are interested in contributing:

Christiaan Sterken 
 
 
 
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