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gaia data release 3 documentation

7.6 Eclipsing binaries

7.6.2 Properties of the input data

The input data consist of the photometric periods and the G-band photometry, along with their uncertainties, for the 2.2×106 eclipsing and ellipsoidal variables identified upstream by variability processing. The period search is documented in Section 10.7.1 and Mowlavi et al. (2023). The G-band photometry was obtained in photometric processing, upstream from variability processing. Subsequently, variability processing identified a number of data points in certain LCs as outliers. These data points were removed from their respective LCs during both variability and NSS processing (described here).

Photometric processing also yielded measurements in the BP and RP passbands. However, data in these passbands were not used for characterisation and classification during variability processing; outlier detection was not implemented either. Furthermore, visual inspection of a number of LCs indicated that there were occasional inconsistencies between the LCs in these two bands and in the G band. For these reasons, it was decided that NSS would process only G-band photometry for DR3 in order to maximise consistency with variability processing and to reduce the risk of problematic NSS solutions. Contributing factors to this decision were the difficulty of calculating reliable extinctions, and the lack of sufficient testing time. The main drawbacks of excluding BP and RP data from NSS processing are that individual temperatures for the EB components cannot be determined, and the contribution of light from a possible third source cannot be accounted for in a robust manner (cf. Section 7.6.6). It is expected that data from all passbands will be used for the EB processing in Gaia DR4.