HW Vir systems are eclipsing, post-common-envelope binaries consisting of a hot subdwarf star and a cooler M dwarf or brown dwarf companion. They show a strong reflection effect and have characteristically short orbital periods of only a few hours, allowing observers to detect multiple eclipses per night. Observed minus calculated (O-C) studies allow one to measure miniscule variations in the orbital periods of these systems by comparing observed eclipse timings to a calculated ephemeris. This technique is useful for detecting period changes due to secular evolution of the binary, gravitational wave emission, or reflex motion from an orbiting circumbinary object. Numerous eclipse timings obtained over several years are vital to the proper interpretation and analysis of O-C diagrams. The Evryscope - an array of twenty-four individual telescopes built by UNC and deployed on Cerro Tololo - images the entire Southern sky once every two minutes, producing an insurmountable amount of data for objects brighter than 16th magnitude. The cadence with which Evryscope exposes makes it an unparalleled tool for O-C analyses of HW Vir binaries; it will catalogue thousands of eclipses over the next several years. Here we present updated O-C diagrams for several HW Vir binaries using recent measurements from the Evryscope. We also use observations of AA Dor, an incredibly stable astrophysical clock, to characterize the accuracy of the Evryscope’s timestamps.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #231
- Pub Date:
- January 2018