Phenomenological modelling of eclipsing system light curves
Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
Received: 30 October 2014
Accepted: 17 August 2015
Context. The observed light curves of most eclipsing binaries and stars with transiting planets can be described well and interpreted by current advanced physical models that also allow for determining many of the physical parameters of eclipsing systems. However, for several common practical tasks, there is no need to know the detailed physics of a variable star, but only the shapes of their light curves or other phase curves.
Aims. We present a set of phenomenological models for the light curves of eclipsing systems.
Methods. We express the observed light curves of eclipsing binaries and stars, which are transited by their exoplanets orbiting in circular trajectories, by a sum of special, analytical, few-parameter functions that enable fitting their light curves with an accuracy of better than 1%. The proposed set of phenomenological models of eclipsing variable light curves were then tested on several real systems. For XY Bootis, we also give a detailed comparison of the results obtained using our phenomenological modelling with those found using available physical models.
Results. We demonstrate that the proposed phenomenological models of transiting exoplanet and eclipsing binary light curves applied to ground-based photometric observations yield results compatible with those obtained by applying more complex physical models.
Conclusions. The suggested phenomenological modelling appears useful for solving a number of common tasks in the field of eclipsing variable research.
Key words: binaries: eclipsing / methods: miscellaneous / planets and satellites: general
© ESO, 2015