Is the statement

From radial velocities or astrometry for eclipsing binaries, one obtains masses.

wrong, because only minimal masses can be obtained?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What is the source of the statement, please. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 30, 2021 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ "one obtains masses" is a very vague statement. It can also refer to minimal masses I guess. $\endgroup$
    – prody
    Aug 30, 2021 at 6:56
  • $\begingroup$ Thus, 'From RVs or astrometry for eclipsing binaries, one obtains minimal masses.' is correct? $\endgroup$
    – Anna-Kat
    Aug 30, 2021 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ Radial velocities $\endgroup$
    – Anna-Kat
    Aug 30, 2021 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ I find it difficult to judge the absolute truth of such short and out of context statements that you are asking also in other questions. I really think it could help if you provided more context. In this case the statement may be correct because if the binaries are eclipsing then the $\sin i$ degeneracy is broken and one can obtain the true masses $\endgroup$
    – Prallax
    Aug 30, 2021 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


No, it is correct. The inclination of an eclipsing binary can be estimated from the light curve (and is likely to be close to 90 degrees in order to produce an eclipse).

The radial velocity curves can then give $M_{1,2}\sin(i)$ and hence the component masses.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .