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Visual observing of Eclipsing Binaries - Still useful?

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kwierzchos
kwierzchos's picture
Visual observing of Eclipsing Binaries - Still useful?

Dear all,

I noticed that most of the legacy eclipsing variables have very few CCD recent estimates in the AID. Some of them appear to have been observed once in the past three or four years.

In the eclipsing binary section page it is written: There have been some recent papers that dismissed all ToMs derived from visual observations, even from dates before any photoelectric data was available. This unfortunately means that new eclipse times deduced from visual observations are of much less interest to researchers than they used to be.

It is obvious that CCD observations can give times of minima that are orders of magnitude more precise than thoose derived from visual observations. But I'd like to know if visual estimates of eclipsing binaries that will give us ToM are still useful. My guess is that if a legacy star did not had any estimates in the past years, even a visual timing is better than nothing right?

Thank you

Kacper

SET
SET's picture
Visual observing of Eclipsing Binaries - Still useful?

Hi Kacper,

 

I still observe eclipsing binary stars visually. There seems to be a difference of opinion on this issue. For the past 5 years I have been sending my observations to the Japanese group, and they publish them in their yearly publication.

 

Chris Stephan   SET

WI
No, visual timings are not

No, visual timings are not really useful, except in a historical sense. It's also useful to observe a single star, obtain the full visual light curve, and use it to determine the type of variability, the period, and so forth.

But scattered visual timings are no longer valued by researchers. See my article on "The Visual Era of the Eclipsing Binary Program in JAAVSO vol. 40, 2012, page 180, where I summarized the visual program's history and the reasons for its extinction.

nmi
nmi's picture
Great question!

In my opinion, any and all observations are needed as we never know who can observe and in what way. However, this question causes me to ask others: which stars are best observed in Visual, V, Multi-color, transformed? Can the staff of the AAVSO offer advice without insinuating that one type is better than another? I've often heard that it depends on the purpose of the study, OK, what's being studied? I've often asked myself why a professional astronomer used my data when I see it listed in Sara's e-mail report? Aside from formal campaigns, the AAVSO data archive is part of a feed forward process. Is it possible to receive feedback from the community on the types of data needed by the professional? This gets to the latest professional collaboration efforts by the staff. What's happening? And one last question, when will we see the staff astronomer hired?

It's easy to ask questions, much harder sometimes to answer them. I want to thank the staff for all the work they do.
Clear skies,
Mike

kwierzchos
kwierzchos's picture
Dear all, 

Dear all, 

Thank you for your answers. After researching the topic online I found that indeed the  opinions are varied. David, I read your article and found it very interesting. You mention that "But scattered visual timings are no longer valued by researchers".

A quick search in the literature returns several recent papers where visual ToM are used, for example: 

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016NewA...49...13W

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016NewA...48...33E

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016NewAR..70....1N

All of them from 2016, and there are more. 

I will like to know the opinion of our Director on this matter.

Thank you

Kacper

 

 

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