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In astronomy, a light curve is a graph of light intensity of a celestial object or region, as a function of time. The light is usually in a particular frequency interval or band. Light curves can be periodic, as in the case of eclipsing binaries, Cepheid variables, other periodic variables, and transiting extrasolar planets, or aperiodic, like the light curve of a nova, a cataclysmic variable star, a supernova or a microlensing event. The study of the light curve, together with other observations, can yield considerable information about the physical process that produces it or constrain the physical theories about it.
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A graph showing the changes in magnitude of a celestial object plotted against time. Brightness is usually measured by photometry. The usual objects studied are variable stars and eclipsing binaries.
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