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AZgazer
2004-May-01, 07:09 PM
I am looking for pictures of a trinary system, searched google and found a ton of sci-fi stuff. I am new to formal astronomy, so if there are any places I could be shown to find this info myself I am not opposed to doing the work. :)

Diamond
2004-May-01, 07:47 PM
I am looking for pictures of a trinary system, searched google and found a ton of sci-fi stuff. I am new to formal astronomy, so if there are any places I could be shown to find this info myself I am not opposed to doing the work. :)

Difficult. There are quadruple systems out there (in the case of a system in Taurus, two sets of binary stars are orbiting each other)

Dunno about a trinary system. Perhaps it would not be stable?

Tobin Dax
2004-May-01, 07:55 PM
Alpha Centauri is a trinary system. It's a typical trinary in that it is a close binary being orbited by a third star (of very long period, in this case).

As for pictures, I'm not sure where you'll find them. I don't know of any systems that are close trinaries, and I also have to wonder how picturesque they'll be if they've been imaged.

eburacum45
2004-May-01, 10:15 PM
There is always Keid

http://www.stellar-database.com/Scripts/search_star.exe?Name=40+Eridani

and here is an image of these three stars as seen by Celestia

http://eburacum45.5u.com/images/Trinary.jpg

but this is also a widely separated trinary; I really had trouble finding a viewpoint in space and time which would show all three together to make this shot

AZgazer
2004-May-01, 10:42 PM
TYVM eburacum45 that is exactly what I was looking for. :D

Cougar
2004-May-01, 10:53 PM
I am looking for pictures of a trinary system, searched google and found a ton of sci-fi stuff. I am new to formal astronomy, so if there are any places I could be shown to find this info myself I am not opposed to doing the work. :)
Interesting page HERE (http://www.ids.ias.edu/~piet/act/astro/three/) about the three-body problem and triple & quad star systems.

Unlike the two-body problem, there is no closed analytical solution and we have to use numerical orbit integrations to determine the evolution of a typical three-body system. Most of those are unstable, and decay either into three separate stars moving away to infinity, or into a binary star and a single star. There are some stable configurations, most of which have been known for centuries through the work of some of the most famous mathematical physicists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Interestingly, and completed unexpected, a few years ago a new category of stable three-body orbits has been discovered in which the three stars chase each other in a figure-eight orbit. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that there is even one such system in our galaxy, given the low formation rate...

tracer
2004-May-03, 04:20 AM
If you really wanna go to town, take a look at Castor (http://www.stellar-database.com/Scripts/search_star.exe?Name=Castor). There are SIX stars in that system -- it's like a Trinary system where each member is itself a super-close-orbiting binary. Or like a quarternary system with another binary pair orbiting the other 4 stars from way far away.