A search for binary stars using speckle interferometry

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Title: A search for binary stars using speckle interferometry
Author: Hoffmann, Matthew
Abstract: Fifteen suspected double stars from the Hipparcos satellite are analyzed to find new binary stars. The measures are derived from speckle observations taken with the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO (WIYN) 3.5 meter telescope located at Kitt Peak, Arizona. My research project was based on my Hypothesis: Speckle Interferometry allowed for diffraction-limited images to be captured by the WIYN telescope. Analysis of the speckle data from the WIYN allowed for the detection of the orbital motion of gravitationally bound binary stars and the detection of new double stars. Data from the WIYN telescope was taken using a low noise fast readout CCD array, which takes exposures at 30-50 ms each. The analysis program used was written by Dr. Horch and uses speckle interferometry and information from the bispectrum to combine each 30-50 ms speckle frame into a single image of the star system. Reliable astrometry has been obtained on a system of magnitude difference of 5.3 with this CCD system. For the CCD, the root mean square (rms) deviation of residuals was found to be 3.5 milliarcseconds (mas) in separation and 1.2º in position angle. The advantages of speckle interferometry are that: " Short exposure images effectively freeze atmospheric fluctuations so that the diffraction limited image can be recovered. " Speckle frames are combined using image analysis to create diffraction limited images " High resolution is needed to separate close binary stars The group of stars studied is a small subset of double stars discovered by the Hipparcos satellite in 1991. Orbital motion was detected in these binary stars using a 3-year baseline data from WIYN and position information from Hipparcos in 1991. The Hipparcos satellite discovered about 6000 new or newly suspected double star systems.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/5815
Date: 2000-05

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