Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy, Star & Solar System Formation, Stars > Wide Binary Stars: Long-Distance Stellar Relationships

Wide Binary Stars: Long-Distance Stellar Relationships


Our Sun is a single star. This puts it in a minority of stars because most stars are binaries—two stars that orbit each other and are bound together by their mutual gravity. Binaries can be very close, sometimes so close that they actually touch each other. Other pairs are extremely wide, with separations up to a light-year or so.

Now Dr. Bo Reipurth of the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, and Dr. Seppo Mikkola of Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Finland, have used computer simulations to come up with a mechanism that accounts for the formation of wide binaries. Most stars are initially formed in small compact multiple systems with two, three or even more stars at the center of a cloud core. When more than two stars are together in a small space, they gravitationally pull on each other in a chaotic dance, where the lightest body is often kicked out to the outskirts of the core for long periods of time before falling back into the fray.

Meanwhile, the remaining stars feed on the gas at the center of the cloud core and grow heftier. Eventually, the runt of the litter gets such a large kick that it may be completely ejected. But in some cases, the kick is not strong enough for the third body to fully escape, and so it is sent out into a very wide orbit.

Full Story: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/WideBinaryStars/

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: