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An international team of researchers, with the assistance of amateur astronomers, have discovered a unique binary star system: the first known such system where one star completely eclipses the other.
This mechanism, called "rotational aging," could reduce the radiation a planet receives from the binary stars, increasing the chance for an atmosphere to form and the development of liquid water on the planet's surface.
The research on wide binary stars included the University of Turku in Finland.
He said that if binary stars came too close to a giant black hole, the hole might capture one of the stars and keep it in orbit forever--and fling the other one out into space, at a high speed.
This means that planetary systems are at least as common around binary stars as they are around single ones.
Finally, the team is also studying RS CVn binary stars, which are chromospherically active binary systems.
Simulation of complete stars in three-dimensions to study how the orbits of binary stars with a high mass ratio become unstable and merge.
Analysis of the light curves of the eclipsing binary stars can determine a more accurate period for the star system.
There also are nine special-effects devices that project animations of astronomical events such as supernovae, the paths of traveling asteriods, solar and lunar eclipses, eclipsing binary stars, and bolides, or exploding meteors, Shobbrook said.
Virtual Light, William Gibson's new novel, is the presentiment of a world--little more than a decade hence--in which Millennium and Apocalypse have evolved into a single system, like binary stars circling a common axis.
Finding planets with multiple parents isn't too much of a surprise, considering that binary stars are more common in our galaxy than single stars.
Previously, researchers could get only limited information about disk orientation, which prevented them from testing ideas about the formation of both planets and binary stars, notes astronomer Andrew Skemer of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Because a hot Jupiter is too close to its star to separate the planet's light from that of the star, the researchers adapted a Doppler technique previously used to detect low mass-ratio spectroscopic binary stars.
These binary stars are named after their type star, AM Canum Venaticorum.