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Binary Stars in the Era of Space age Astronomy

  • Edward F. Guinan
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 187)

Abstract

I discuss advances made in the study of binary stars during the last two decades with the advent of new technologies, orbiting observatories, and multi-frequency coordinated programs. The study of binaries and, in particular, interacting binaries provides insights into nearly all realms of astrophysics — including stellar interiors and atmospheres, stellar evolution, nucleosynthesis, plasma physics, accretion processes, magnetic dynamos, and relativistic physics, to name a partial list. Moreover, the study of extragalactic, interacting binaries now makes it possible to explore stellar structure and evolution in galaxies with evolutionary and chemical histories vastly different from our own galaxy. Extragalactic binaries are beginning to play an important role in cosmology as primary distance indicators.

I also discuss the potential scientific rewards of studying binaries with the recent technical improvements in ground-based facilities, new space missions, and the proposed International Astronomy Moon Base.

Key words

binary stars stellar astrophysics satellites extragalactic 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward F. Guinan
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Astronomy & AstrophysicsVillanova UniversityUSA

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