On the detectability of long period perturbations in close hierarchical triple stellar systems

T. Borkovits, B. Érdi, E. Forgács-Dajka, T. Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)


We study the possibility of the detection of the low amplitude long (P′) period perturbative effect of a distant third companion on the motion of a close binary. We give a new, more accurate analytical formula for this kind of perturbation affecting the moments of the times of minima in eclipsing binaries. The accuracy of this formula is tested by numerical integrations carried out for several initial configurations. We also describe a numerical method based on a non-linear Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm which makes it possible to separate this dynamical effect from the pure geometrical light-time effect in the eclipsing O-C diagram. The capabilities of this new method are demonstrated by the analysis of numerically simulated O-Cs for test systems having physical parameters very similar to Algol and IU Aur. The results show that the above mentioned effect would be detectable in these systems nowadays, observing almost each minima events in a 1-2 year-long interval.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1102
Number of pages12
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


  • Binaries: close
  • Binaries: eclipsing
  • Celestial mechanics
  • Methods: analytical
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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