By Matthew Mohn, Alex Norman, and Anuraag
"A star system containing two stars orbiting around each other"
Binary stars can be found anywhere regular stars can, but their formation may be helped by an excess of 'star-stuff' (hydrogen) where they form. The closest binary star to Earth is the Centauri system, which is also the closest star system after the Sun.
- 85% of stars in the Milky Way are in multiple star systems
- If you start with the corner of the "pot" in the big dipper and move down 2 stars in the handle, you can look closely and see the double star Mizar & Alcor.
- A blue supergiant orbits the Cygnus black hole as a binary system 6,000 light years away.
- Some supernovas are caused when one star "eats" too much of the other one and implodes on itself. Don't be greedy!
- Some binary stars seem invisible, but are found when the brighter star wobbles from the other one's influence.
- Binary systems can be the distance from the Earth to the Moon or extremely far away. The far ones are called "wide systems".
Examples of Binary Stars
Cygnus (not the black hole one)