How Are Binary And Multiple Stars Possible?
Binary stars are, very simply, stars orbiting around each other.
They are linked by their gravitational attraction and orbit around their common centre of mass.
If, on the contrary, two stars should really be situated very near each other, and at the same time so far insulated as not to be materially affected by the attractions of neighbouring stars, they will then compose a separate system, and remain united by the bond of their own mutual gravitation towards each other. This should be called a real double star; and any two stars that are thus mutually connected, form the binary sidereal system which we are now to consider.
Here’s how a binary system appears.
Notice how the stars rotate around each other, in some sort of dance.
Binary stars are a very important object in astrophysics because they can help us understand some important things about planet formation and star masses.
Let’s first discuss how useful they are in terms of hosting planets.
While a number of binary systems have been found to harbour extrasolar planets, such systems are comparatively rare compared to single star systems. Observations by the Kepler space telescope have shown that most single stars of the same type as the Sun have plenty of planets, but only one-third of binary stars do.
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