Re: [nbos] [AS] Binary Star Systems
"Christopher"
Fri Dec 8th, 2006
I may be mistaken, but my understanding is that a true trinary system (three
stars orbiting a common centre) is physically impossible. If you created
such a system, orbital mechanics would dictate that one of the bodies would
soon either be ejected from the system, or collide with one of the other
two.

Now, you *can* have a stable pseudo-trinary: one where there is a binary
system with a third star orbiting the binary at a much greater distance
(which I think is the case for Alpha Centauri and companions).

Any physicists out there want to weigh in on this one?


- Christopher


-----Original Message-----
From: nbossoftware-bounces-at-nbos.com [mailto:nbossoftware-bounces-at-nbos.com]
On Behalf Of Daniel Williamson
Sent: Saturday, 9 December 2006 1:20 AM
To: nbossoftware-at-nbos.com
Subject: Re: [nbos] [AS] Binary Star Systems

>At 10:04 AM 12/7/2006, you wrote:
>>Ideally I'd like to be able to use the system display to see the two
>>stars orbiting each other and the planets each star individually and
>>the gravitational center to get a grand overview of the system.
>
>Thats something I'd like to do, but havent gotten a grip on the physics of
>it yet. A binary star system isnt a problem to model... but throw in a
>third star and all bets are off :-)

Well see, that's why I'm a project manager and not a developer. I like to
dream up the system specifications and leave the hard stuff to someone else.

:)

Seriously, though, even adding in close binary support would be a huge
advancement. Even though it may not be able to handle trinaries and beyond,
it would still be very useful. As far as I know there aren't that many
close trinaries. If you have a system that has 5 stars like I'm dealing
with in Xi Scorpii there are usually two or more pairs and the remaining
stars are very distant and don't need to be included in the system display.

And, if you have a close trinary there usually isn't any stable orbit left
for a habitable planet so those systems aren't as interesting. To me
anyway.

At the same time, being able to define a distance from star to star in a
widely dispersed system, where the distance from AB to C is 210 AU, and use
that distance in the existing travel calculators would also be very nice.

>>Also, I'd like to see AU used as the display orbital distance for top
>>level children at least. Or is there anyway that I can change it in
>>the display manually?
>
>I _was_ working on AU being an option in the system data fields setup
>as part of the next minor update, but for some reason ended up not
>adding in. The specific reason escapes me right now. But it is on my
>to-do list as quite a few people have asked for that.

I look forward to it. For me getting my head around 2.0 AU is easier than
trying to contemplate 3 billion Km or whatever it converts to.

Dan.



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