Journal Article

Microlensing of close binary stars

Nicholas J. Rattenbury

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 392, issue 1, pages 439-447
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Microlensing of close binary stars

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The gravity due to a multiple-mass system has a remarkable gravitational effect: the extreme magnification of background light sources along extended so-called caustic lines. This property has been the channel for some remarkable astrophysical discoveries over the past decade, including the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets, the routine analysis of limb darkening, and, in one case, limits set on the apparent shape of a star several kiloparsec distant. In this paper, we investigate the properties of the microlensing of close binary star systems. We show that in some cases it is possible to detect flux from the Roche lobes of close binary stars. Such observations could constrain models of close binary stellar systems.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; techniques: photometric; stars: atmospheres; binaries: close; binaries: eclipsing

Journal Article.  4663 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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