World Builders™
World Builders™
Session One  --  Astronomy
Session One  --  Astronomy

          Orbits for Binary Star Systems
          Orbits for Binary Star Systems

Binary Star Systems can have a variety of different configurations.

     Binary stars move in paths called their orbits.  As we learned in
Binary Star Systems, the paths of these stars are described by the formula:

for first star


second star

mass * distance to center of mass


mass * distance. to center of mass

  Important Information:

  A line drawn between two binary stars always goes through the center of mass.

      As binary stars move in their orbits, they are always exactly opposite each other.

Here are some sample orbits that binary stars may move in:

This diagram shows a set of binary stars which both have circular orbits.







Binary Star Systems


Introduction to Binary Systems

Planets in Binary Star Systems

© 1998,2003, 2004. Elizabeth Anne Viau. All rights reserved. This material may be used by individuals for instructional purposes but not sold. Please inform the author if you use it at