Questions tagged [binary-star]

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

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2answers
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Is Sun a part of a binary system?

Does our Sun have a counterpart, i.e., is it a part of a binary-system? If so, how does the other star look like and where is it?
18
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2answers
547 views

What are the current observational constraints on the existence of Nemesis?

Nemesis is a hypothetical companion to the Sun on a very eccentric, long-period orbit. The star supposedly returns every few tens of millions years, driving comets into the inner solar system and ...
25
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4answers
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Are there any double stars that I can actually see orbit each other?

If I had a nice amateur telescopeā€ , are there any multiple star systems that I could observe over a few years or a few decades and actually see the movement of one or both of them over time? My short ...
18
votes
2answers
630 views

How many stars can stay close to each other without collapsing?

Is it possible for two stars to exist close to each other? "Close" is relative; let's assume that two stars are close to each other if they are at the center of the same solar system. It's ...
6
votes
3answers
160 views

What is the spectral reflectance of starlight in a close binary?

Ignore the Blender Monkey! (from here) 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 ...
13
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
8
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2answers
2k views

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 = <...
11
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
165 views

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 ...
13
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
134 views

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 ...
13
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4answers
3k views

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, ...
4
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1answer
178 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
1k views

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{...
3
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2answers
426 views

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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0answers
124 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
109 views

Why do they think that WDJ0551+4135 is “snowman shaped” i.e. a contact binary?

The BBC's Huge 'space snowman' is two merging stars says Researchers have discovered a huge snowman-shaped star with an atmospheric composition never seen before. It is more massive than our Sun but ...
1
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1answer
100 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
100 views

Are there any good images of Sirius B at apastron in the Sirius system?

Sirius B has a distance to Sirius A of 11 arc seconds at apastron; are there any good images of it at that point in its orbit?