PHOEBE: Workshop 1


The PHOEBE team is excited to announce the first PHOEBE 2 workshop that will take place on 18th – 22nd June at Villanova University, Pennsylvania, USA.

The aim of this week-long workshop is to give participants a thorough introduction to modeling binary systems using PHOEBE 2), as well as providing a closer look at some of the advanced features. By the end of the workshop participants will be proficient in using PHOEBE 2 for binary star modeling.

Scientific Rationale

PHOEBE 2 (Prša et al. 2016) is a rewrite of the PHOEBE legacy code (Prša & Zwitter, 2005), which was based on the Wilson-Devinney code (Wilson & Devinney 1971; Wilson 1979; Wilson & Van Hamme 2004). The goal of the new version of PHOEBE is to match the level of photometric precision attained by the Kepler mission. The model includes a new method for stellar surface discretization; photospheric surface mapping of gravity darkening and limb darkening (which replaces the parameterized form); support for spin-orbit misalignment; Doppler boosting; the ability to model exoplanetary transits; and many more features. In addition to this vast array of improvements, the user interface has also been updated and is now based on the PYTHON language.

Due to the significant differences between PHOEBE legacy (or any other binary modeling code) and PHOEBE 2, this is the perfect time to host a workshop and teach the fundamentals of PHOEBE 2, and introduce some of its new, advanced features.

The participants of the workshop will be given introductory walk-through tutorials to PHOEBE 2 and some hands-on experience with creating binary star models. They will also be given a sneak peak at advanced features currently under development (including the functionality to model multiple systems with custom hierarchies, a better description of heat redistribution and reflection, and an advanced treatment of contact systems). Time will also be dedicated to interfacing PHOEBE 2 with EMCEE (Foreman-Mackey et al., 2013), a Markov chain Monte Carlo software suite, to perform binary star fitting within a probabilistic inference framework. All exercises will be based on the publicly available Kepler data as well as on the data the participants elect to use for their own projects.

Main Objectives

By the end of the workshop the participants should be able to independently use PHOEBE 2 to model single stars and basic binary systems, have a working knowledge of some advanced features, and have working scripts to apply PHOEBE 2 to their own data.