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Questions tagged [binary-star]

Question regarding a pair of stars that are gravitationally linked and orbit around their barycenter.

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What happens when a star gets hit by a supernova?

This may sound like a strange question, but say that two stars are relatively next to one another in a binary star system, what would happen to one of the stars if the other went supernova? Would it ...
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Total angular momentum in system of binary brown dwarfs on wide orbit from primary star

I want to calculate the total angular momentum of a system in which two brown dwarfs are orbiting one another (P ~ 10 years), and this system is stably orbiting a third primary ZAMS star (P ~ $10^4$ ...
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Sinusoidal Light curve of an eclipsing binary

This light curve seems really weird to me, I'm used to seeing light curves where the barycenter is a straight line. It either stays at a place, moves at a constant speed or slowly increases its speed. ...
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1answer
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How do isolated binary compact systems survive their formational supernovae?

In a broad sense I'm trying to understand how a binary black hole or neutron star systems can form from isolated binary massive star systems (i.e., other than from migration within rich BH/NS clusters)...
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What are the apparent visual magnitudes of Spica A and Spica B?

What would be the (theoretical) apparent visual magnitudes of Spica A and Spica B (since they are too close together to be resolved telescopically)? The Spica System is 77 parsecs away, and the ...
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2answers
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Can Two Stars of One Same Type Orbit Each Other?

This is a simple, textbook definition of a binary star orbit. One low-mass star orbits a higher-mass star in a narrow but definitive center. For example, the high-mass star would be our own sun--a G-...
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Observing eclipsing binaries

In a matter of weeks, I will be performing my first observation using a 25-cm Newton telescope (+CCD camera) and would be grateful for advice regarding an otherwise basic research that I have decided ...
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Is a supernova powerful enough to destroy the other star in a binary system?

(This question was originally posted via World Building, but I was instructed to post it here) https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/109457/is-a-supernova-powerful-to-destroy-the-other-...
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Filling the Roche Lobe

For mass transfer in a binary system, one star must fill its Roche lobe. What determines whether a star in a binary system will fill its Roche Lobe? How will I calculate it? I can't find any ...
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What is the spectral reflectance of starlight in a close binary?

In a close-orbiting binary pair, a small but significant fraction of the light from each star falls upon the other, and the result has to be carefully modeled to simulate the observed spectrum of the ...
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Can BY Draconis variable stars sustain any form of complex life?

I wanted to ask this, because while I was working on two fictional planets back on the Worldbuilding SE, one of them being habitable, which orbit the 61 Cygni A star of the 61 Cygni binary star system,...
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Is it possible for two stars to be in a horseshoe orbit around a much larger star?

I was reading about how Saturn has two moons, Janus and Epimetheus, that swap orbits once every four years. Could something like this happen on a much larger scale, but with stars instead of a planet ...
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About photometry and spectroscopy of eclipsing binaries

Suppose an eclipsing binary system whose orbital plane is inclined i=90º. What are the optimal conditions to measure the light curve? Would it be easy to measure radial velocities?
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Would 2 stars in binary star formation with same mass and no velocity collide into each other? [closed]

Velocity decides if 2 stars with different masses in a binary star formation will collide or not, but if 2 stars with same mass existed but with no velocity (i.e they are not orbiting each other, just ...
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3answers
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Binaries consisting of a black hole and a non-black hole?

Are there any known binary systems in which one member is a black hole and the other is not a black hole (main sequence star, giant, neutron star, white dwarf, whatever)? Googling seems to turn up ...
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1answer
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How does a planet lose mass to its host star?

How do bodies like WASP-12b lose mass to its central body? The process is never really explained in popular media, instead showing visualisations of a thin veil of gas being "sucked" in a rather ...
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What if a white dwarf is less massive than her partner?

For example: a system with a 0.2 solar mass white dwarf orbiting a 0.25 solar mass red dwarf. Does the red dwarf steals mass from the white dwarf or vice versa.
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Can a binary star optically “orbit” a planet?

I was watching a science fiction anime from the mid 70's. In it, there was a star orbiting a planet. Since this seemed impossible, and I had never heard of it, I looked on the internet to see if this ...
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1answer
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How Can I View KIC 9832227?

I've heard that KIC 9832227 is a contact binary star system that is expected to merge and explode as a "red nova" sometime in the next ~5 years or so. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/01/colliding-...
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How are binary star systems created?

I don't know how common it is for a system to have two stars (or perhaps even more) but how do they arise? Is that due to the stellar accretion disc, or the composition of the stellar nebula? Or are ...
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Will Sirius B start accreting from A and become a supernova type Ia?

Sirius B is a massive white dwarf of 1 Solar mass, orbiting at about 25 AU distance from the 2 Solar mass Sirius A. As it evolves and expands, will the A star start shedding matter to the white dwarf, ...
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Why does Sirius proper motion “wiggle” with a 1 year period, when Sirius A and Bs binary orbit is a 50 year period?

Some stars, if observed repeatedly over time, show a perturbation or "wobble" in their proper motion. If this is a periodic occurrence we can infer that the perturbation occurs due to the ...
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What is the tidal radius of the Sirius system?

The Fomalhaut system is a trinary system, with Fomalhaut A (1.9 M), Fomalhaut B (0.7M) and Fomalhaut C (0.2M). Fomalhaut C is 2.5 light years from Fomalhaut A, and 3.2 light years away from Fomalhaut ...
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Which data should I use to take the fast Fourier transform (FFT) to find time period for eclipsing binaries?

I am trying to use Kepler Data for Eclipsing Binaries to estimate time period, and then other parameters such as mass, eccentricity, semi-major axis, distance, etc. of the system. I want to write code ...
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Does binarity play a role in spectral fitting?

Most of the spectroscopic surveys like SDSS classify stars into one pure spectral type. However, a large fraction of stars are in binaries. Can we know whether a spectral fitting is good enough? Is ...
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Multiple Star-system percentages

What are the percentages of systems that have x number of stars in them? What I have found thus far is something like: Single Star Sytems = 69% Double Star Systems = ~10% Triple Star Systems = <...
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1answer
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V471 Tauri's circumbinary brown dwarf non-observation; Applegate, or over-restrictive assumptions?

tl;dr Has the brown dwarf observation been disproven? I have just started reading about the interesting object V471 Tauri. The first two sentences of the introduction to The V471 Tauri System: A ...
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2answers
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Complex life in binary black hole - Sun(s) system

I was wondering if there could theoretically exist systems in which an Earth-like planet was in the habitable zone of one (or two) Sun-like star(s), while actually not orbiting around any star. To be ...
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1answer
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period of an eclipsing binary

I am confused about the definition of the period of an eclipsing binary, a binary configuration where one component crosses the other across the line of sight. When people say that an eclipsing binary ...
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1answer
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Do planets form around lone stars, multiple stars, or both? Do we know this yet?

Since about 1990 astronomers been able to detect planets around other stars, using a couple different techniques, which is amazing. By this point, do we know whether planets form only around single ...
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How many actual stars are Polaris?

I am getting conflicting accounts everywhere. I heard astronomers saying Polaris is a 3-star system. Some say they are binary but are optical-doubled with a 3rd. ...
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1answer
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Could the word “multiple stars” include binary stars?

We are translating some illustrated book for kids about astronomy, and then have a question as in the title. Referring to Wikipedia etc., It appears that "binary stars" represents the star systems of ...
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1answer
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Are there currently observed systems of close (narrow) binary brown dwarfs?

All over the Universe, there are (gravitationally bound) binary star systems. Considering the huge number of brown dwarfs, are there currently known double systems of gravitationally bound binary ...
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Why can't our Sun be a binary with Jupiter as a T or Y dwarf?

I just learned about Brown Dwarfs, they are "failed" stars, they narrowly missed the stellar mass mark. I learned that Y Dwarfs have temperature as low as 80 Fahrenheit (The first one found by WISE ...
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Peculiar orbit of circumbinary planet

I've created a Mathematica notebook file which should theoretically allow one to simulate any n amount of bodies. Whilst looking at a three-mass system where $m_1=m_2=2000m_3$, I noticed some peculiar ...
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What's the name for [the other kind of planet] in a binary star system?

This XKCD what-if talks about rainbows on planets in a binary star system. It points out that there are two types: circumbinary planets, where the planet orbits far from and around both stars [the ...
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1answer
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Binary Star question [duplicate]

Is it POSSIBLE that we are a binary system? I have been doing research into this topic and it seems we may infact be a binary system. If we are, what effects would a massive body comming into our ...
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1answer
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State vectors of “interesting” multiple stars

I'd like to show a demonstration of Runge Kutta integration of real systems using examples of interesting multiple stars, where "interesting" means you can see through a small telescope that they are ...
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1answer
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Sundial (solar clock) in a binary star system

What would a sundial look like in a binary star system? What is the path drawn by the shadows? It probably depends on the system, the sizes of the stars, their distance... If you know a binary star ...
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The black hole binary that was detected by advanced LIGO - how do such hypergiant binaries form?

With today's announcement of the historic detection of gravitational waves from the merger of 36 solar mass and 29 solar mass black holes 1.3 billion light years away, one can not help but wonder how ...
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Why don't the stars in a binary star system of equal masses always orbit their center of mass in a circular orbit?

If I have a binary object system of equal masses, why don't they always have the same circular orbit around their center of mass, like in the photo?
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1answer
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Why do spectroscopic binaries have approximate circular orbits?

So for an assignment I have to answer the question what I can conclude concerning the shape of the orbit, knowing that it is both an eclipsing and spectroscopic binary. Now, I think the answer I ...
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How long does an over contact binary star system last?

I read recently about VFTS 352, an overcontact binary star system where both stars have roughly equal mass. All of the reports I've read (in mass-media type publications) have said that the system has ...
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Double Planet Orbiting Wide Binary Star?

Right now I'm writing a sci-fi story that develops in a double planet. But that's not all, the double planet (along with a couple more planets) orbit a big star and the whole system is orbited by ...
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2answers
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Why are so many sun-like stars found in multiple systems? How do planets form in such a situation?

It has been reported that perhaps half of nearby sun-like stars are found in multiple systems. Why is this so common, and how do planets form in such a situation? Kaitlin M. Kratter, “Sibling ...
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Orbits in a binary star system

I know of three sets of stable orbits in a binary star system: orbiting closely around star A, orbiting closely around star B, or orbiting distantly around both stars (and their mutual center of ...
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Is the angular resolution of a telescope irrespective of used eye-piece?

Suppose a telescope has aperture $D = 20$ cm. The angular resolution of such telescope, according to the Rayleigh criterion (if I have understood it correctly), is given by $$\theta = 1.22\cdot\frac{...
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1answer
206 views

How can a supernova affect black hole in a binary system?

Suppose in a binary stars system there is a dying star and a companion black hole as they orbit around each other. My question is what will possibly happen to the black hole if the partner goes ...
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1answer
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Can close binaries have a very eccentric orbit?

For example, are there binaries with an orbital period < 5 day and that are very eccentric? What kind of factors could slow down orbital circularisation? Are ...
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1answer
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Examples of Equal Mass, Unequal Mass and Double Binary Star Systems

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 ...