Name: ______________________________Binary Stars LAB 7 BINARYS TARS 1 P URPOSE This lab will introduce students to binary systems, two stars that are gravitationally bound to one another and orbiting a common center of mass. Through the study of binary systems, astronomers can estimate the masses of the stars within them. The purpose of this lab is to address a number of goals: 1.Estimate the location of the center of mass of a binary system given the masses and separation of the stars. 2.Investigate the importance of binary stars in determining stellar masses. 3.Demonstrate how stellar masses and radii can be determined through the varying amount of light detected from an eclipsing binary system. This lab makes use of the Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project, a series of online labs for introductory astronomy. You can access these labs from any computer that can run flash animations; no software specific to the lab needs to be downloaded. BACKGROUNDI NFORMATION
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