AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 186 Eclipsing Binaries
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[186.02] New O-C Observations for 150 Algols: Insight to the Origins of Period Shifts

D. I. Hoffman, T.E. Harrison, B.J. McNamara (New Mexico State University), W.T. Vestrand (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Many eclipsing binaries of type Algol, RS CVn, and W UMa have observed orbital period shifts. Of these, many show both increasing and decreasing period shifts. Two leading explanations for these shifts are third body effects and magnetic activity changing the oblateness of the secondary, though neither one can explain all of the observed period oscillations. The first-generation Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE-I) based in Los Alamos, NM, was primarily designed to look for the optical counterparts to gamma-ray bursts as well as searching for other optical transients not detected in gamma-rays. The telescope, consisting of four 200mm camera lenses, can image the entire northern sky twice in a night, which is a very useful tool in monitoring relatively bright eclipsing binaries for period shifts. The public data release from ROTSE-I, the Northern Sky Variability Survey (NSVS), spans one year of data stating in April, 1999. O-C data for 150 eclipsing binaries are presented using the NSVS data. We revisit work by Borkovits and Hegedüs on some third body candidates in several eclipsing binary systems using recent AAVSO and NSVS data. Some unusual light curves of eclipsing binaries produced from NSVS data is presented and discussed.

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