AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 7 A Walk Through the HR Diagram
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[7.19] Calculating Visual Binary Star Orbits with the Downhill Simplex Algorithm (Amoeba)

M. MacKnight, E. P. Horch (UMass Dartmouth)

The downhill simplex algorithm is a popular approach to minimization problems in astronomy and other fields. We describe a visual binary star orbit calculator based on this approach, and compare the results it gives on four well-known binaries whose orbits are in the literature. We also obtain a result for HD 157948, where the visual orbit was reported recently by Heasley et al. (BAAS, Vol. 34, p. 1095, 2003). Finally, results are shown for two new systems discovered by Hipparcos, where the orbits are based on both the Hipparcos observation and subsequent speckle data in the literature. The orbital parameters reported are the first such estimates for these two systems.

This work is part of HST Proposal 9034. Support for Proposal 9034 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26655.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: g_mmacknight@umassd.edu

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