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Unformatted text preview: you can also find the mass of each star. I mentioned that if you as the observer are not in the orbital plane that the situation is more complicated because you ONLY measure the radial components of the velocity of each star. Only if you have some knowledge of the angle between the direction (line of sight) from you to the binary system and the orbital plane would you be able to get the actual orbital speeds of each star, the radii of their orbits, and their masses. In some X-ray binaries you observe X-ray eclipses when the neutron star disappears behind the donor (in lectures I showed a slide of the eclipses observed in Her X-1). If that is the case, you know that you as the observer MUST be in the plane of the orbit or nearly so (why?)....
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- Spring '08