Lecture 5 - Visual Binary Systems (1/26/99)

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Chapter 1-5, 12-2 (ZG4)
Prelude P1, P2 (ZG4)


pages 16 - 19

HST FOC image of binary star Gliese 623. The companion is Gl623b, with a mass of 0.1 Msun, in a 2AU orbit with a 4 year period around the brighter primary Gl623a. (Courtesy STSCI)
? Key Question: What are the conserved integrals of motion in a two-body system?
! Key Principle: Kepler's Laws of Motion
# Key Problem: Determine masses and luminosities of Sirius A & B.


  1. Orbital Mechanics continued
  2. Visual Binaries - A Primer
  3. Example (see homework 1): Sirius A & B - Masses and Luminosities

Binary Stars with HST:

Some binary stars and related objects reported in Hubble Space Telescope press releases include:

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smyers@nrao.edu Steven T. Myers