Close Binary Stars
During the XIXth General Assembly of the IAU in Delhi the number of members of Commission 42 increased to 260. This simply reflects the growing interest and importance of our field. Growing is not only the number of astronomers involved in research on CBS but also the number of papers resulting from that activity. As an example one can quote the numbers of papers listed during the last few years in Sections 117 (Close Binaries), 119 (Eclipsing Binaries), and 120 (Spectroscopic Binaries) of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstracts: 705(1982), 775(1983), 836(1984), 1080(1985), and 911(1986); note that many additional references could be added to these numbers from other sections. Naturally, such numbers alone do not reflect the quality and even less so the position and significance of the CBS field. Here one could perhaps mention an impressive record of successful research proposals involving requests for the observing time on large, ground based telescopes and on space instruments. Indeed, in spite of a very strong competition from other fields, programs involving CBS are usually placed very high on the priority lists (cf. Sections 2D and 2E). Obviously, the close binary systems, their evolution, and the physical processes which occur in them (accretion, stellar winds, nuclear burning, etc) appear interesting and important not only to those who are involved in their studies but also to astronomers from other fields.
Etoiles Binaires Serrees
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