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Planetary Systems within Elliptical Binary Stars?

  1. Jan 12, 2012 #1
    I read this article in Nature (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10768.html) as it describes two circumbinary planets. If it is assumed that most stars have a planet orbiting it and most Binary Star systems are elliptical, then wouldn't the majority of Binary Stars system not have planets due to tidal forces of both stars? I am assuming the orbital path of the stars to be intersecting in a figure "eight" pattern (e.g. the last animation of barycentric coordinates on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barycentric_coordinates_(astronomy)).

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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  3. Jan 12, 2012 #2

    Drakkith

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    I would expect that any planets would have to be well outside the orbital radius of the two binary stars or they would become unstable.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2012 #3

    D H

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    Well outside or well inside. The cited article is about planets orbiting well beyond the orbits of a pair of stars that orbit one another closely (close binaries). Another stable configuration is a pair of stars that orbit one another by some distance, with planets orbiting closely to one of the stars. In this configuration the other star just acts as a perturbation on the planetary orbits.
     
  5. Jan 12, 2012 #4

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    True, I guess it depends on the mass of the stars and the details of their orbits.
     
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