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Space-Based Photometry of Binary Stars: From Voyager to TESS

Southworth, John

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Binary stars are crucial laboratories for stellar physics, so have been photometric targets for space missions beginning with the very first orbiting telescope (OAO-2) launched in 1968. This review traces the binary stars observed and the scientific results obtained from the early days of ultraviolet missions (OAO-2, Voyager, ANS, IUE), through a period of diversification (Hipparcos, WIRE, MOST, BRITE), to the current era of large planetary transit surveys (CoRoT, Kepler, TESS). In this time observations have been obtained of detached, semi-detached and contact binaries containing dwarfs, sub-giants, giants, supergiants, white dwarfs, planets, neutron stars and accretion discs. Recent missions have found a huge variety of objects such as pulsating stars in eclipsing binaries, multi-eclipsers, heartbeat stars and binaries hosting transiting planets. Particular attention is paid to eclipsing binaries, because they are staggeringly useful, and to the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) because its huge sky coverage enables a wide range of scientific investigations with unprecedented ease. These results are placed into context, future missions are discussed, and a list of important science goals is presented.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Sep 27, 2021
Publication Date Sep 30, 2021
Journal Universe
Print ISSN 2218-1997
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 10
Article Number 369
Pages 369 - 369
Keywords stars: binaries, fundamental parameters, oscillations, techniques: photometric
Publisher URL


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