Can a planet orbit two stars in an "8 loop"?
Like in the picture attached
- daniel gLv 711 months agoFavorite Answer
Never been observed and would defy celestial dynamics.
There are plenty binary solar systems out there, suns in a locked orbit. What this does is create a barycenter between the two that planets would orbit around, likely quite oblate.
That dual sun of Tatooine in star wars is actually not far fetched at all. quite common.
Planets could not be so close as to pass between the stars. that would not be stable.
In wide binaries, possible one sun has it own orbiting planets, possibly even both. Usually none for the manner in which they developed.
- Markus ImhofLv 711 months ago
First of all, there are no analytic solutions for tha "three body problem" (yet), so all we can do is run a simulation. For one planet orbiting two stars, these can work out
a) if the planet orbits the barycenter of the two stars so far away that the influence of the either star is negligible or
b) if the planet orbits one star close enough so that the influence ot the second star is negligible.
In your picture, whether it's to scale or not, the planet will cross through the barycenter between both stars. This is an extremely sensitive point - the smallest disturbance here (and I mean really small - like a cup dropping off a shelf on that planet at the wrong moment) will mean that the planet's orbit will not be exactly on the line, and this deviation will multiply over the consecutive orbits. leading to a chaotic (in the mathematical sense) system,
I couldn't find an image of the chaotic orbits, but Google tirned up a page with some moer in-depth information, and a simple simulator applet: http://www.cs.utsa.edu/~wagner/stars/stellar.html
- 11 months ago
It wouldn't be stable... it may perform that trajectory a couple of times, but after that, it'll 'stumble' into orbit about one star or the other.
- Anonymous11 months ago
The mathematics you describe are outside of waht is possible. The difficulty is the scale. If you had two of our suns in the visual the would be less less than a million miles apart, and the masses of the three objects cannot fit into the law of gravity.
Binary stars could never be that close without merging. Binary stars orbit each other closer to a light year apart, and much further away than a planet would be able to.
So you have star masses on the order of a thousand masses of a planet in nearly the same distance.
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- 11 months ago
A planet is a wandering star. The English word "planet" comes from the Greek word planetes, which means "wanderer." There are only 7 planets in the whole universe that we know of. They do not follow the fixed stars but have their own courses, none of which produce a figure 8 pattern. They are: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Since earth is not a wandering star, it is NOT a planet. Earth only became known as a planet during the so-called "Age of Reason." What is known as the "Scientific Revolution" took place during that period. This was the time when the heliocentric lie was formulated by occultists such as Isaac Newton which challenged the plain scientific truth as found in the Bible. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Bruno got their heliocentric ideas from the occult teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. Earth is fixed and stationary and the heavens revolve around us. This has been proven by the Michelson-Morley, Michelson-Gale, Sagnac, and Airey's Failure experiments. The Bible speaks the truth. Men are liars.
- AdamTheAtheistLv 711 months ago
If it has a stable orbit, yes.
- 11 months ago
For a few orbits yes,
but such a configuration is absurdly unstable. The planet will very soon end up being either flung into deep space or being consumed by one of the stars.
you need to play with a gravity simulator to see this for yourself.
- CarolOklaLv 711 months ago
Yes it IS possible, but usually planets orbit just one star in widely separated binary. The conditions have to be just right for the other star to gravitationally capture the planet.
- az_lenderLv 711 months ago
No. Such an orbit might be executed once, but would be unstable, and could not persist. Binary stars can have stably-orbiting planets either (a) where the planet is much closer to one star than to the other or (b) where the planet is so far from both stars that it "sees" them as a single center of mass.