Astronomy 22: Homework #3
Teddy Portney
October 29, 2007
1.) (a.) The radii of the two stars in the Algol system are approximately the same. This is
explained by the sharp points at the times of complete eclipse in the graph shown.
(b.) The primary star, labeled P on the graph, is the brighter star. This is known because
when this star is being eclipsed, the magnitude increases drastically, and thanks to the
“assbackwards” system, a higher magnitude leads to a dimmer star.
(c.) Looking at the graph provided, we can determine the apparent magnitudes of the stars
by noting the magnitudes when one star is being eclipsed. Doing this leads to a
magnitude of 2.4 for the primary star and 3.5 for the secondary.
(d.) Given that the trigonometric parallax p = 0.035, and the relationship that d = 1/p, we
can solve for the distance in parsecs as 28.6 parsecs.
(e.) The absolute magnitude is the apparent magnitude when d = 10 parsecs. Using a
formula derived in class, we can solve for the absolute magnitude, M, knowing the
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 Fall '07
 Waller
 Astronomy, parsecs, primary star

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