Take the 2-minute tour ×
Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Ternary (or trinary) stars are not the same as triple stars. So, what is the basic underlying difference between these two? What are some popular examples of these two varieties?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Exactly the difference between binary and double stars.

Trinary System

Three stars gravitationally bound to each other.

Here are some examples

Triple Star System

Three stars that appear to be together but any one of them is gravitationally unbound.

Here are some examples.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.