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About CALEB/FAQ

Last updated 11/23/2004

1. What is the purpose of this site?

Eclipsing binaries are a rich resource of information regarding the fundamental properties of stars. Unfortunately the literature isn't always the easiest to locate, and securing the original data can be even more challenging. This website intends to put together in a logical and easily-accessible manner as much of the original observations (photometry and radial velocity) and analysis of close eclipsing binaries as can be done. This project was set up to

  1. Allow workers in this field to quickly access information on published eclipsing binaries.
  2. To amass a consistent database of light and radial velocity curve solutions to aid in solving new systems.
  3. To provide invaluable querying capabilities on all of the parameters of the systems so that informative research could be quickly accomplished on a multitude of published results.
  4. To aid observers in establishing new observing programs based upon which stars need new light and/or radial velocity curves.
  5. To encourage workers in the field to submit their published results so that others may have access to their work.
  6. To provide newcomers in the field a vast but easily accessible storehouse of information on eclipsing binaries to accelerate the process of coming up to speed on analysis techniques and current work in the field.

2. What are the features of this site and how do I use them?

The site should be mostly self-explanatory. The homepage provides several ways to jump into the database, the simplest way being to list all of the available stars. You can then simply click on a star name and you will be brought to an initial data page with some fundamental properties listed. You can then click on References and you'll be given several pertinent references with URLs to NASA's website where you can immediately download many of the papers (except for the most recent ones).

At the bottom of the page you will find the listing of Model Sets. These are light curve analyses in different bandpasses by different authors, and clicking on any of them will bring you to a page which will display the fitted light curve and radial velocity curve (with data if it exists) and also display a model of the system. If you click on either of the graphs an enlarged version will be displayed.

Many links are also given which allow you to view and/or download the original data as well as Binary Maker 3 parameter files so that you can study the systems yourself.

3. What are Quick Queries?

Quick Queries are for the faint at heart who want to make simple but useful lists of stars based upon some of the more common binary star properties (period, eccentricity, binary type, etc.).

4. What's with the Search link?

The Search link gives you the ability to make your own complex queries on all of the parameters stored in the database. For example, you could ask for a listing of all systems with a certain range of periods within a certain range of RA and Dec with non-zero eccentricities . . . you get the idea. We envision this feature of the site as one of the most valuable and useful ones for archival as well as future research efforts.

5. Good grief! This looks like a ridiculous amount of work? Why did you do it?

See the purposes of the site in question #1. Also, in producing the latest version of Binary Maker 3, we wanted to supply users with a large library of data and solutions so that they could become more skilled in light curve analysis as well as be able to teach students from the wealth of work which has already been accomplished. Since that work already required compiling much of the data needed for this Atlas, we decided to make it readily available to everyone.

6. What's with the site's name?

The original name for the site was "EBOLA" which stood for Eclipsing Binary On-Line Atlas. Unfortunately, this is the same name as a particularly nasty organ-liquefying disease, which was making some people upset. Not wanting to unnecessarily upset people, it was decided to change the name to "CALEB" for Catalog and AtLas of Eclipsing Binaries.

7. Would you consider changing the name?

We would consider changing the name, if someone can suggest a better one. OR, you can give us lots of money, and we'll name it whatever you want. This may actually be a good way of obtaining astronomical immortality. Lots of astronomical things, including the Lick Observatory, and the Henry Draper catalog are named after the people who gave the money rather than did the work.

8. Who's responsible for this site?

Dr. David H. Bradstreet was the original creator and force behind this site, and he does most of the work. He has the unenviable task of digging through the literature and finding papers on binary star models, and then converting the models to a common format and making sure they are reasonable. He also does all the "Model Comments", creates the zip files, makes the pictures, types in the references, and uploads the whole mess into the database.

Steve Sanders has the even more unenviable task of scanning in the data from the literature and doing the OCR work. He also does lots of other slave-type tasks that Dr. Bradstreet gives him.

Jonathan Hargis took advantage of the astronomical periodicals at San Diego State University and the Interlibrary Loan system to get lots of papers for Dr. Bradstreet to comb through.

Josh Lake did the art work, because he's good, and who also happens to be the only artistic person we know who owes Dr. Bradstreet enough favors that he'll do it at a price we can afford (i.e. nothing).

9. What program was used to create the models of the stars?

The models were created using Binary Maker 3. Binary Maker 3 is a sophisticated yet user-friendly commercial binary star modeling program produced by Contact Software. More information about Binary Maker 3 is available at http://www.binarymaker.com/.