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Calculating the motion of binary stars

  1. Oct 23, 2008 #1
    This is more of general question, but i am working on a project that involves binary stars. Basically, i am capturing data through a telescope, and i was wondering if i had all the parameters, how could i project, or calculate the motion of a binary star in terms of speed and direction.
    Any hint would be appreciated, if you think i should approach this differently, please let me know.

    I was looking at Kepler's laws to understand the motion of the stars, and i have a general idea about them.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2008 #2


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    Hi hragsarkissia,

    I don't understand what you have at this point. Are you saying you have already calculated some general parameters from the measurements, or are you asking how to use the raw measurements?
  4. Oct 25, 2008 #3


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    If you are actually observing binary stars through a smallish telescope, there really isn't much you can determine about their motion by observation. The ones you can split in a telescope are hugely far apart and their rotation period is measured in hundreds or thousands of years, at least. You can get a period for eclipsing binaries, but not much else. Algol is famous. Other than that a lot of information about binaries comes from spectroscopy (doppler shift).
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