Binary Star Systems

Binary Star Systems

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Credit: Spencer Sutton/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration showing 3 types of binary star systems. A binary star is a pair of two stars, held together by the force of gravity. The brighter star is the primary star and the other is the secondary star. At top, detached binary: There is no physical contact between the stars, and neither has filled it's Roche lobe. Middle, a Semi-detached binary: One of the stars has filled its Roche lobe and is an egg shape due to gravitational distortion of a very close neutron star or a black hole. There is a mass transfer stream present between the two stars. At bottom, Contact binary: In this case, both stars have filled their Roche lobe and have a common envelope (CE). CE is an initiated unstable mass transfer from the primary star to its companion star.

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Keywords: annotated, art, artwork, astronomy, astrophysics, binary star, binary star system, binary star systems, ce, cee, center of mass, common envelope, common envelope event, common envelope evolution, contact binary, detached binary, gravitational force, gravity, illustration, infographic, information graphic, mass transfer stream, orbiting, orbiting stars, planet, primary star, roche lobe, secondary star, semi detached binary, semi-detached binary, star system, stars

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