I have been reading up on how multiplicity of star systems decline with star mass, which implies a relatively common occurrence of binary star systems orbiting more massive stars. I would imagine this would also mean the orbital plane of such multi-star systems aligning with the orbital plane of the system and the star it orbits as time passes, which I believe is in line with how disc accretion is such a common pattern.

What I am wondering is how such a realignment would affect behavior of the orbit of a hypothetical binary system? Would the stars get closer to the barycenter or further as this realignment occurs? How about periodicity or heat?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ very cool question!! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 29 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ There are different regimes with different stability modes. You probably can't find 3 stars with the mass ratio of Sun-Earth-Moon, for example, but it might be possible to find a system with a semi-stable Lagrange point or two. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jul 30 at 14:54

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