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Binary star center of mass

  1. Jun 26, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    2 stars are seperated by a distancce r, one star has mass 2/3M the other has mass 2M (M is a solar mass). The period of revolution is 5 years, calculate r.


    2. Relevant equations

    Fg=(GM1M2)/r^2




    3. The attempt at a solution

    Ok so I know that the binary star system revolves around its center of mass point, however I am unsure how to find it, Xcm=(M1X1+M2X2)/(M1+M2) but how is it found without knowing X1 and X2
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2011 #2

    tiny-tim

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    hi kraigandrews! :smile:

    (try using the X2 and X2 icons just above the Reply box :wink:)
    X X1 and X2 are all measured from the same point …

    you choose the point (for example, you can chooose one of the stars) :wink:
     
  4. Jun 26, 2011 #3
    so just checking to make sure but my cm point then is:
    (M1X)/(M1+M2)
     
  5. Jun 26, 2011 #4

    tiny-tim

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    yes :smile:
     
  6. Jun 26, 2011 #5
    thanks!
     
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