2007-2008 Supercomputing Challenge New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge
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Challenge Team Abstract


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    Team Number: 056

    School Name: Cuba High School

    Area of Science: Earth and Space

    Project Title: Determining Light Curves of Eclipsing Binary Star Systems

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Binary star systems are composed of two stars that revolve around the same center of gravity. Binary systems are seen as a single point of light, which is an illusion created by the distance between the observer and the system. A binary system becomes an eclipsing binary system, when, relative to an observer, one star passes in front of the other. This causes the periodic brightening and dimming of the star. When the stars are alongside one another, the star is at its maximum brightness. The primary minimum occurs when the brighter star is eclipsed by the dimmer star, and the secondary minimum occurs when the dimmer star is eclipsed by the brighter star. When magnitude is graphed as a function of time, a light curve showing the varying brightness of the system is created.

The objective of this program is to write a C++ program that computes the light curve of an eclipsing binary star system taking the following into consideration: mass of stars, radii of stars, magnitude, luminosity, spectral types, orbital speed, and orbital inclination.


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