Benchmarks and How to Benchmark Them:
Cutting-Edge Science and a
Data Challenge for Eclipsing Binary Systems

Convenors: Adam L. Kraus (UT-Austin), Leslie Hebb (Hobart & William Smith), Andrew Mann (Columbia, UNC-Chapel Hill), Keivan Stassun (Vanderbilt), Ben Tofflemire (Wisconsin, UT-Austin), Guillermo Torres (CfA)



Analyses of eclipsing binary systems can routinely achieve precisions of 1-3% with robust analysis of high-quality datasets. However, it is growing increasingly evident that there are large systematic uncertainties in the accuracy of the analysis techniques used to measure those stellar properties for eclipsing binary systems. We therefore also will organize a data challenge (occurring before, during, and after the meeting) wherein each participating team will analyze uniform, high-volume datasets that test our analysis methods and illustrate best practices for the field to adopt going forward.

We anticipate that the final product of this splinter will be a journal article summarizing the results of the data challenge and best practices for reducing analysis-driven variance in results. All teams participating in the challenge will be invited to join this article.


The fundamental properties of stars constitute a bedrock upon which much of modern astrophysics is built. Eclipsing binary studies are now testing the detailed astrophysics of stellar evolutionary models, enabled by the ongoing revolution of wide-field time domain surveys like Kepler, K2, TESS, and Evryscope, and by the newest generations of ground-based spectrographs. Our splinter will provide a venue for many leading teams in EB studies to present their newest scientific results across all regimes of the HR diagram.

Image Credit: ESO/L. Calcada

Announcement: This final program is now online! Visit the Program page for details.