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Session 93 - Binary and Variable Stars.
Oral session, Friday, January 09
Alternating period changes have been observed in many eclipsing binaries for several decades. Most explanations have involved apsidal motion, but these explanations have been proven unsatisfactory in some cases for several reasons. A theory based on magnetic (solar-like) cycles proposes that a changing magnetic field inside a convective component alters its quadrupole moment and thereby the binary system's orbital period. RS CVn binaries exhibit enhanced magnetic activity, so these objects are ideal candidates to monitor for period changes. The easiest method for detecting period changes of eclipsing binaries is by re-determining their times of minimum. A coordinated campaign is about to begin to do just such for 52 eclipsing RS CVn binaries. To facilitate participation in the campaign by as many as possible, a web page with finding charts and predicted eclipse times has been developed.
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