Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Mario C. Diaz

Second Advisor

Dr. Nicolas Pereyra

Third Advisor

Dr. Andreas Hanke


Stars have been observed and recorded since ancient times. Practices of documenting brightness led to observations of variability. Optical CCD observations of eclipsing binary stars were made with instruments at UTRGV Dr. Cristina Valeria Torres Memorial Astronomical Observatory. There are two main goals for this project. The first goal is to create a pipeline written in python (lightcurator) that creates a framework for detecting variable stars. The pipeline starts by creating a list of ccd frames written in FITS format of an eclipsing binary star observation. These object frames are expected to be already reduced, but lightcurator provides tools to achieve this. The object frames are aligned and stacked to create a deepsky frame. Astrometry is performed to find the proper positions in right ascension and declination of all sources in the deepsky frame. This creates a master catalogue of stars to be monitored through the entire observation. Source extraction is performed on each object frame to generate a catalogue of stars that includes the measure of instrumental flux and the time recorded. After converting instrumental flux to instrumental magnitude, light curves are produced for every object for all frames. Currently, lightcurator is limited to detecting cataloged variable stars from the General Catalogue of Variable Stars (GCVS) and the Variable Star Index (VSX). Identification of the intended eclipsing binary system is confirmed in all cases with this method. The second goal for this project is to extract the physical parameters of the eclipsing binary systems observed from the time series data computed from the pipeline.


Copyright 2019 Moises Castillo. All Rights Reserved.