Binary stars is a lecture for an original research project focused on a possible origin of the binary star systems. It is an offering of the radiation astronomy department.

This is a Keck adaptive optics image of TYC 4110-01037-1 in K′. Credit: Keith Matthews at the Keck Observatory.

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Quiz edit


1 Yes or No, BH Centauri is an overcontact system.


2 Which of the following is or may be an original binary companion to the Sun?

the planet Mercury

3 True or False, Romulus and Remus are the original names for the Sun-Ouranus binary.


4 Complete the text:

Match up the observation with the binary star:
Sirius A and B - A
Algol A and B - B
Albireo - C
WISE J1049-5319 - D
Mizar A - E
Minkowski 2-9 - F







5 True or False, RS Canum Venaticorum variables are close binary stars having active chromospheres which can cause large stellar spots.


6 Complete the text:

Match up the type of star with each of the characteristics below:
solar twin - A
solar analog - B
solar type - C
double star - D
binary - E
visual binary - F
astrometric binary - G
spectroscopic binary - H
eclipsing binary - I
detached binary - J
semidetached binary - K
contact binary - L
common-envelope binary - M
area of gravitational pull exceeds the other component

same line of sight

wobbling around a point

no close companion with an orbital period of ten days or less

resolved binary using visual astronomy

periodic variation in radial velocity

each component fills the other's area of gravitational pull

F8V through K2V

unstable mass transfer from one to the other

mutual eclipses

two orbiting around each other

no stellar companion

one component does not exceed the gravitational pull area


7 Complete the text:

Solar-type stars are

stars with a B-V color between

and 0.80.

8 True or False, Saturn may have been a pole star for the Earth and the remnants of a binary with the Sun.


9 Complete the text:

Match up the likely type of star fission with each of the possibilities below:
a triple-component stellar multiple - A
massive star fission - B
semidetached binary - C
a separating close contact binary - D
ZAMS system - E
tight, circular orbit, impossible to tell eclipses - F
lobate star - G
coronal mass ejection - H
BH Centauri

Plaskett's Star (HR 2422)


W Ursae Majoris

Beta Lyrae

V1010 Ophiuchi

object is confirmed to be co-moving



10 True or False, Most of the planetary orbital poles are clustered around the Sun's rotational pole.


11 True or False, The Sun-Jupiter system may serve to establish an upper limit for interstellar cometary capture.


12 Which of the following is likely to apply to a solar binary?

a high relative velocity between the solar system and the cometary medium of a passage through a molecular cloud
none of the captured bodies may localize in the Oort cloud
none of the captured bodies localize near the Sun
some captured bodies may localize near Jupiter
the Jupiter system may be a control group

13 True or False, 2M1207b is a Jupiter-like planet that orbits the brown dwarf (2M1207) at a distance nearly twice as far as Neptune is from the Sun.


14 Which of the following may not be able to slow down an object entering the heliosphere at 20 km/s?

electrostatic repulsion
the charge on the surface of the Sun
a comparable charge on the incoming object
strong forces

15 True or False, Vega and BD+38 3238D may be a binary system.


16 Which of the following are characteristics of a solar-like binary?

Teff ≤ 6000 K
break up of a triple-component stellar system
none of the captured bodies localize near the Sun
some captured bodies may localize near Jupiter
the Jupiter system may be a control group

Hypotheses edit

  1. Many more stellar binaries result from star fission than gravitational capture or simultaneous formation.

See also edit

External links edit

{{Radiation astronomy resources}}