STEFAN  MOCHNACKI

Image of BRITE satellite rotating in spaceA photo of me
                     BRITE nanosatellite                                                            In my office


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, due to retire later in 2014.  My research activities have included:

Space Astronomy: Development of detector systems for small astronomical satellites. Photometric analysis methods.

Binary Stars: Computation of theoretical light curves and line profiles, and fitting models to observations. Structure of contact binary stars. Mapping of Starspots. Search for binaries in galactic clusters and the Magellanic Clouds.

Stellar Evolution: Observation of those close binary stars which provide important clues to the evolution of binary stars in general. Development of theoretical models to explain the observations. Interpretation of blue straggler observations.

Stellar Spectroscopy: Observation of flare stars and eruptive variables to study their outburst mechanisms. M dwarfs: activity, radial velocities, rotation.

Galaxies: Area photometry of central regions to study dynamics. Spectroscopy of globular clusters to trace out dark matter in external galaxies.

Instrumentation: Development of detectors for observation with electronic techniques. Development of versatile computer programmes for instrument control and the reduction and analysis of observations. Application of digital telecommunications and microcomputers to astronomy. Development of low‑cost image processing system. Automation of small telescopes and observatories. Construction and commissioning of spectrographs. Development of nanosatellite for high-precision photometry from space.


My teaching activities have included undergraduate courses at all levels, for astrophysics specialists as well as for non-science students in the first and second year of their studies, in some years in classes of more than 1000 students. At the graduate level, I have taught observational techniques and stellar physics.

About Me

Academic CV

Binary Stars

Paper presented in Slovakia, July 2011.

Application of the GDDSYN Method in the Era of KEPLER, CoRoT, MOST and BRITE


Useful old DDO pages

  • See weather here. or here.
  • Data on the DDO instruments, needed for reductions here.

  • DDO observations for the years 1987-2008 can be accessed and downloaded via anonymous FTP.
  • The scanned DDO logbooks for the years 1935-1998 are here.


  • Research Stuff

  • Programmes

  • Accurate Integrations of the Roche Model NX = number of X divisions (typ. 150 or 300), NTHETA = number of theta values (typ. 52), F = fill-out ( 1 = inner contact, 2 = outer), Q = mass ratio ( 0 - 1).


  • (Return to Dept of Astronomy homepage )