AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 12 Eclipsing Binary Stars
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[12.06] Searching the MaCHO Database for Tertiary Companions to Eclipsing Binaries

S. Palen (Weber State University), J. C. Armstrong (Jet Propulsion Lab)

The MaCHO database contains observations of more than 6000 eclipsing binary stars over an approximately eight year temporal baseline. We have selected a limited subset of these eclipsing binaries based on the period.

For each star, we search the data for drifts in the timing of the eclipse, potentially due to the presence of a perturbing companion. This companion would cause the center of mass of the system to shift, and therefore, cause the timing of the eclipse to shift. For a 1-Jupiter mass object in orbit around two 0.5 solar mass stars, the shift in the timing of the eclipse may be as much as one second.

We present our progress to date, as well as our model of the three body system. The model allows us to derive parameters of the system by fitting the drift in the eclipse timing. Finally, we present a discussion of possible confounding factors.

This poster utilizes public domain data obtained by the MACHO Project, jointly funded by the US Department of Energy through the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48, by the National Science Foundation through the Center for Particle Astrophysics of the University of California under cooperative agreement AST-8809616, and by the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatory, part of the Australian National University.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.