Can anyone give me an example of a star (ideally those with a common name e.g. Rigel, Sirius, etc) of the following multiple star systems.

Equal Mass Star System, where two binary stars orbit round a central point of space.

Unequal Mass Star System, where a smaller star(s) orbits round a larger binary star.

Double Binary where two sets of binary stars orbit round a spot. (Regulus?)


1 Answer 1


Equal mass

Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to us, is composed of a binary star and Proxima Centauri (making it a triple star system). Alpha Centauri A has a mass of 1.1 M$_{\odot}$, while Alpha Centauri B has a mass of 0.9 M$_{\odot}$.

If you count brown dwarfs, Luhman 16 are a good target, with each being about 0.04 M$_{\odot}$.

Unequal mass

Eta Carinae contains a Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) with a mass of 120-160 M$_{\odot}$ and a smaller (but still very massive) star with a mass of 30-60 M$_{\odot}$.

Sirius is okay, though with two stars of much smaller masses, 2 M$_{\odot}$ and 1 M$_{\odot}$.

Double binary

Mizar, in reality part of a six-star system (Mizar/Alcor), has four stars separated into two pairs. This ensemble then interacts with the binary star Alcor.

You can find plenty of stars here.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks HDE, I did notice Wikipedia page but it couldn't see what I exactly wanted. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2015 at 18:25

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