1
$\begingroup$

I was wondering about a planet who orbits two stars. Could it be that it moves as in the image?

Planet orbit with stars

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

While such orbits can be proven to exist mathematically, they are unstable, and so no real planet has such an orbit. Such an orbit is analogous to balancing a pencil on its point. Mathematically there is a point of balance, but it is still impossible to do.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if such an orbit could develop at all and if so for how long it would be able to exist in a pseudo stable form ? $\endgroup$ – StephenG Oct 13 '17 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Might not be all that different than a horse-shoe orbit, which can be stable for a few hundred orbits. (kinda guessing though). $\endgroup$ – userLTK Oct 14 '17 at 3:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ remember that the two stars are also orbiting. No this kind of orbit highly unstable, unlike horseshoe orbits. $\endgroup$ – James K Oct 14 '17 at 6:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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