Re: [nbos] Astro3 Experimental Build
Sam Orton
Tue Nov 24th, 2009

>Yep, that sums it up.  Basically there's no way that I know of to calculate stable orbits of >stars and their planets in multiple star systems, particularly when there's 3 or more stars.  >What I'll probably end up doing is assigning the component stars a fixed position in a >multiple-system display. They just wont orbit each other.
>The way the "Worldbuilder" Traveller supplement worked was to place the subsidiary suns >in orbits around the primary (orbit numbers generated randomly). It then made certain >orbits, close to these, unavailable for planets. Then, each remaining orbit was given the >chance of having a planet using it.

>No attempt is made to generate stable orbits or have the planetary bodies generated >behave according to astrophysical laws.
There might be a middle ground, if you like. Build a database of known stable *types* of orbits for multiples, including the *relative* masses and distances of the stars in it. That allows you to include "common center" orbits with no mass occupying them. Then if you generate a multiple, generate ONE star for it and randomly select a multiple orbit pattern. That tells you the mass and distance of the other star(s), right? They are what they *must be* in order for the one star you have to be in that place in *that* orbit.
"Close" multiples will be a separate, more complex problem, but with "long" multiples the orbits should be far enough apart that "wanderer" planets between stars should be a vanishingly small percentage, no?
Close multiples, where the gravity wells of the stars interact closely enough to interfere with planetary orbits.... now that will be the really hairy problem.
P.S. If all I'm doing is showing my ignorance of both astronomy and programming, just kick me and I'll shut up again.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice." - "Heinlein's Razor"

"Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice." - Grey's Law

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