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Encyclopedia > Binary system (astronomy)

A binary system is an astronomy term referring to two objects in space, usually stars, which are so close that their gravitational forces attract one another into a mutual orbit. Astronomers find that more than 50% of stars are binary stars. A multiple system is like a binary system but consists of three or more objects. Astrometry: the study of the position of objects in the sky and their changes of position. ... Outer space (also called just space) as a name for a region, refers to the relatively empty parts of the Universe, outside the atmospheres of celestial bodies. ... The Pleiades star cluster A star is a massive body of plasma in outer space that is currently producing or has produced energy through nuclear fusion. ... Gravity is the force of attraction between massive particles. ... This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ... In physics, an orbit is the path that an object makes, around another object, whilst under the influence of a source of centripetal force, such as gravity. ...

See Binary star for the common case of a binary system composed of two stars. A binary star system consists of two stars both orbiting around their barycenter. ...

List of known binary systems
Location Satellite A Satellite B
Kuiper Belt Pluto Charon
4.36 lightyears from the Sun Alpha Centauri A Alpha Centauri B

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Astronomy Notes (1546 words)
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I define angular momentum and give several examples of angular momentum in astronomy: Kepler's second law of orbital motion, Earth-Moon system, rapidly spinning neutron stars, accretion disk in a binary system, and a collapsing galactic cloud.
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SPACE.com -- Supernova Nearly Split Binary Star System (819 words)
Astronomers have discovered a double star system, known as a massive X-ray binary, with an orbit so elongated that the twosome appears to have barely survived the disruptive effects of the supernova that transformed them into a fountain of X-ray energy.
X-ray binary systems consist of a star that is losing mass to its partner, which is the remnant of a supernova, either a neutron star or a fl hole.
McSwain's observations confirm that LS 5039 is a close X-ray binary system: one extremely bright, massive star and a companion that is nearly invisible to human eyes, which marks the remains of the stellar explosion.
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