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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 1170-1180 (2000)

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Genetic eclipse mapping and the advantage of Black Sheep

A. Bobinger

Universitäts-Sternwarte, Scheinerstrasse 1, 81679 München, Germany (Andreas.Bobinger@kratzer-automation.de)

Received 8 January 2000 / Accepted 21 March 2000


A new genetic eclipse mapping method GEM is presented. A genetic algorithm was used to reconstruct accretion disks with the Double Dataset eclipse mapping method. With the introduction of "Black Sheep" into the evolution, an increase of the speed of evolution by a factor of ten was reached. By applying the new algorithm to test data and to observational data the robustness and reliability of this new tool could be confirmed. Despite the high amount of computing time, the fitness of GEM, to be used as a reconstruction tool in the eclipse mapping algorithm, compares advantageously with the traditionally used maximum entropy package MEMSYS. The reconstructions are of high clarity and, less influenced by faulty data, not user-biased and do not require the use of an user-supplied default image. Applying this new algorithm to a dataset of the cataclysmic variable IP Peg a rough fingerprint of a spiral arm is found in the position coordinate representation of the quiescent accretion disk. This phenomenon is discussed and compared with previous works.

Key words: methods: numerical – stars: novae, cataclysmic variables – accretion, accretion disks – stars: individual: IP Peg

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000