‘First of its kind’ Triple Star System Detected in Deep Space

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 12183
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

‘First of its kind’ Triple Star System Detected in Deep Space

Post by Ann » Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:37 pm


NASA Space News wrote:

Astronomers have discovered a triple star system unlike any other observed before. The odd trio of stars is significantly more massive and tightly packed together than a conventional triple system, which might be because the stellar triplets once had a fourth sibling before one of the others devoured it.

The triple, or tertiary, star system is known as TIC 470710327, and it was discovered using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (or TESS), which orbits Earth. The trio has a hierarchical structure, which means that a pair of binary stars circle each other in the system’s centre, while a third star orbits the central pair...

The binary pair of stars at the centre of TIC 470710327 has a total mass of around 12 times that of the sun, and the two stars orbit each other in little over a day. The bigger outer star is considerably more massive, weighing around the same as 16 suns, and it circles the binary pair once every 52 days, which is quite quickly considering their size.

So the more massive star is in orbit around the less massive binary. Amazing.

Click to play embedded YouTube video.

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 16833
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: ‘First of its kind’ Triple Star System Detected in Deep Space

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jul 27, 2022 8:45 pm

Ann wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:37 pm

NASA Space News wrote:

Astronomers have discovered a triple star system unlike any other observed before. The odd trio of stars is significantly more massive and tightly packed together than a conventional triple system, which might be because the stellar triplets once had a fourth sibling before one of the others devoured it.

The triple, or tertiary, star system is known as TIC 470710327, and it was discovered using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (or TESS), which orbits Earth. The trio has a hierarchical structure, which means that a pair of binary stars circle each other in the system’s centre, while a third star orbits the central pair...

The binary pair of stars at the centre of TIC 470710327 has a total mass of around 12 times that of the sun, and the two stars orbit each other in little over a day. The bigger outer star is considerably more massive, weighing around the same as 16 suns, and it circles the binary pair once every 52 days, which is quite quickly considering their size.

So the more massive star is in orbit around the less massive binary. Amazing.
I can't quite figure out what the image is showing. The video is much clearer. But no, it's not really reasonable to say that the more massive star is orbiting the less massive one. Dynamically, this is basically a two star system, and they orbit each other around a barycenter between the two. A barycenter that is closer to the more massive star than it is to the tight binary.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com