We present here the rotation periods determined for main sequence FGK-type primary stars in fourteen wide binary star systems with white dwarf secondaries. The data were taken over three weeks with the SARA-KP* 0.9m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. We used IRAF’s APPHOT package to do differential photometry on the data and determined the light curve caused by the presence of star spots on the main sequence primary. We then measured the rotation periods by applying a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) technique to the light curves of the main sequence star. The cooling ages of the white dwarf secondary companions establish minimum ages for each of the binary systems, thus providing a baseline to calibrate gyrochronology, the estimation of the age of individual main sequence stars from the star's rotational period. This research was conducted at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was supported, in part, by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant from the National Science Foundation to the Central Washington University (PHY-1358879) and NSF grant AST-1358787 to ERAU. * operated by the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (

Co-collaborators: Erik Parker and Dr. Saurav Dhital, Department of Physical Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Additional Abstract Information

Student(s): Emily Dick

Department: Physics and Astronomy

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Terry Oswalt

Type: Poster

Year: 2015

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