Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Plotting the Boyajian's Star Light Curves - it's all on GitHub (and reddit)

I've been plotting the light curves for Boyajian's Star since we first had any significant data from AAVSO. Back then (2015, early 2016) we were seeing a downward trend, but had no idea that the trend would level off and a series of weird dips would begin in 2017. After that - some the color bands have shown a slight brightening trend, and others have looked quite flat on average. The fact that we are seeing different trends in different colors tells us something about the nature of Where The Flux is hidden, although I have yet to see a model that explains everything.
Boyajian's Star as observed by AAVSO and ASAS-SN in V and R bands. The dashed vertical lines are dips.
Right now, the TESS space telescope is observing a patch of the sky that includes Boyajian's Star. We should have those high-cadence data in a month or two, and I will of course be naively plotting it and puzzling over it.

If you would like to see the data I plot or the R scripts I plot it with, please feel free to go over the GitHub: https://github.com/pdcarr/Boyajians_R

On GitHub I have all the data I've accumulated in the data folder, so you don't have to go look for it. I keep it up to date as best I can. I use R to plot and fit the data because R is free, robust, and pretty easy to script. As always, there is more than one way to do it. I will consider accepting pull requests, BTW.

Over on reddit, we try to keep everyone up to date on what the light curve is up to. The subreddits to look on are KIC8462852 and KIC8462852_Analysis. As we discussed on our last Burst, there is an ongoing project initiated by Tabby to track the long term trend in the star as function of color using a steady cadence of data from Las Cumbres. You can still get involved with that if your are interested.

2 comments:

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