Eclipsing Binaries and Standard Candles

Larger telescopes and powerful instrumentation enable analysis of faint EBs in clusters, or even Local Group galaxies such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, M31 (Ribas et al. 2005) and M33 [cf. Hilditch et al. (2005), or Bonanos et al. (2006a, b)]. These EBs can provide direct distance determinations to the host objects [cf. Ribas et al. (2004)] as long as one can obtain the required data, i.e., radial velocity curves and at least one light curve. Although EBs allow distance estimations very accurately in favorable cases, they are not really standard candles as are Cepheid variables, RR Lyrae variables, and supernovae. EBs are rather individual objects that can provide distances on nearby standard objects if the binary model assumed is correctly chosen. With this proviso, if the universe were to contain only one EB and be otherwise empty, one could derive the binary's distance.

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

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