A binary star is a star system with two orbiting stars around a barycenter. For each star, the other is its companion star. There are many star system with two or more stars. The brightest star is the primary star and the other one is the secondary star. They are usually relatively close together. It should not be confused with 'optical double stars' which are not connected by gravity.
The first person who discovered binary stars was German-British astronomer William Herschel. He published the first catalogue of binary stars with measurements of their relative positions to the Royal Society in London in 1782 CE (269 double or multiple systems). A second catalogue was published in 1784 (434 systems) and a third catalogue in 1821 (145 systems). William noted that Newton's laws of gravity also apply outside of the Sol system. His son John Herschel found thousands more binary stars and updated the catalogue.
On occasion, players may encounter a close (mere lightseconds apart) binary star system. When this occurs, it can cause one's ship to rapidly overheat. It is advised to vacate such an area immediately, lest one risks ship destruction.
|Hegua WY-I d9-7||AB 3||Binary star system|
- ↑ Herschel, W. (1 January 1785). "Catalogue of Double Stars. By William Herschel, Esq. F. R. S". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 75: 40–126. doi:10.1098/rstl.1785.0006. Retrieved 5 June2018.
Read December 8, 1784
- ↑ MacEvoy, Bruce. "The William Herschel Double Star Catalogs Restored". Astronomical Files from Black Oak Observatory. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
- ↑ Buttmann, Gunther 1974. In the shadow of the telescope: a biography of John Herschel. Lutterworth, Guilford. p50 & 197