Astronomy and Space


What is a binary star?

A binary star is a pair of stars revolving around a common center of gravity. About half of all stars are members of either binary star systems or multiple star systems, which contain more than two stars.

The bright star Sirius, about 8.6 light years away, is composed of two stars: one about 2.3 times the mass of the sun, the other a white dwarf star about 980 times the mass of Jupiter. Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to Earth after the sun, is actually three stars: Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, two sunlike stars that orbit each other, and Alpha Centauri C, a low-mass red star that orbits around them.


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