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Colorful binary star systems for small telescopes: Part 2

7 Jul 2018, 11:53 UTC
Colorful binary star systems for small telescopes: Part 2
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I previously discussed my ongoing attempt to develop an automated method of getting the physical properties of binary/multiple star systems visible to amateur astronomers. In Part 1 I got as far as getting basic observables and IDs for the Primary stars in Bob King's article,"Colored Double Stars, Real and Imagined" by Bob King (Sky & Telescope, December 14 2016).The next step, described here, is to use the the Washington Double Star Catalog to identify and list the probably companions of each Primary. The WDS is an ongoing project that summarizes observations of bright visual double or multiple stars. Their aim is to determine which, if any, are physically associated in a gravitationally bound stellar systems as opposed to being chance line of sight superpositions. As such the WDS project makes use of multiple historical observations, measured distances (by parallax) and proper motions, the results of which are summarized in their catalog.To cut a long story short I've written some bash and python scripts that download the latest WDS catalog from Vizier, then takes the outputs from the scripts described in Part 1 and combines that with the WDS catalog to come up with a list of Primary, Secondary, (Tertiary etc) ...

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