Publication details

Eclipsing binaries visual minima timings: To use or not to use?



Year of publication 2012
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Plenty of mid-eclipse timings of short-periodic eclipsing binaries derived from series of visual observations appear to be an acceptable source of information for orbital period analyses, namely if they were done in time-intervals not covered by other types of observations. However, our thorough period analysis of the nearly contact eclipsing binary BS Vulpeculae proves that visually determined timings done in 1979-2003 were undoubtedly biased to accommodate the existing linear ephemeris. The heavily subjective character of visual observations disqualifies them as a source of true phase information apt for fine eclipsing binary period analyses. Consequently we warn against the use of visual timings without a preceding careful verification.
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