Say there's a young s-type binary star system with 2 Sun-like stars. From what I understand for a stable orbit to be possible, a planet's farthest orbital point from its host star has to be around 1/5 or less of the total distance to the companion star (source: Wikipedia), but I'm unsure if this works for a gas giant.

The gases it would use to form would feel some effect, right? What's the closet the companion star could be to the host star while still allowing for a gas giant to form and have a stable orbit?

Make any assumptions you have to for this question and thanks for any input.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please give references for the 1/5 number. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 7:07
  • $\begingroup$ en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitability_of_binary_star_systems it's under the S-type information. Im not sure if I'm just misunderstanding, but either way sorry for not posting my source. $\endgroup$
    – Xanax87
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 8:10
  • $\begingroup$ The questions of whether the orbit is stable and whether it is possible to form a planet there are not necessarily going to have the same answer. The region where stable orbits are possible may nevertheless have conditions too violent to build planets. Conversely a sufficiently-massive planet-forming disc might provide additional stability in regions that become unstable when the disc dissipates. $\endgroup$
    – user24157
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ That's why I said to make any assumptions to make the main question work. Assume perfect conditions all around, just looking for the closest orbits the stars could have while forming a gas giant with a stable orbit, if possible. $\endgroup$
    – Xanax87
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 12:47


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