Skip to main content

How to Use the EB Ephemeris

We recently released a significant update to the backend systems for the AAVSO website. While most of the bugs introduced by this update have been fixed, there may still be problems we haven't fixed. If you run into a problem, please email webmaster@aavso.org

The AAVSO Eclipsing Binary Ephemeris provides the predicted time of mid-eclipse for eclipsing binaries in the AAVSO Eclipsing Binary observing program. These times appear in Universal Time in the body of the ephemeris table. The time is rounded to the nearest half hour, which provides sufficient accuracy to plan an observing session while, hopefully, leaving sufficient doubt about the exact time in order to eliminate anticipatory bias. The ephemeris is designed for use by observers at American longitudes.

The top rows of the ephemeris table list the name of the eclipsing binary. Directly below the star's name are its approximate maximum and minimum magnitudes. These magnitudes are taken from the 4th edition of the GCVS and may be visual, photographic, or V.

Below that, in the row labeled "DUR", the approximate number of hours required to obtain a time of minimum. This time is typically shorter than the duration of the eclipse listed in the GCVS. We need good coverage of the steep portion of the descending leg through the corresponding portion of the ascending leg of the eclipse to measure the time of mid-eclipse accurately.

The next row, labeled "TOT" indicates the duration of the totality at minimum in hours.

The numbers in the left-most column are the "double date" - the evening and the following morning - for the event times listed in the corresponding row. For example, 5-6 corresponds to the evening of the 5th and the morning of the 6th of the month. January 0-1 is the evening of December 31 and the morning of January 1.

The 'S' in the table heading stands for secondary eclipse. All other predictions are for the primary eclipse. Sometimes a secondary eclipse column may appear where there is no primary eclipse column for a star; this occurs when none of the primary eclipses for that star during that month are observable.

Gerard Samolyk, AAVSO Eclipsing Binary Committee

If you have questions about this ephemeris, please contact the AAVSO.

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484