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Binary Stars

 A binary star is a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common center of gravity. Systems of two, three, four, or even more stars are called multiple star systems.  Now days scientists know that at least half of the stars that we can see in the night sky are binary stars!  How about that! 

Here are a couple that I photographed a in October 2015.  First, Albireo, which can be seen in the Milky Way.  What a dramatic binary star!  On the right is a simulation which shows the location of Albireo.


Next is Mizar and Alcor.  This double star is the second star from the end of the handle of the big dipper.  Actually Mizar is a quadruple system and Alcor is a binary, the pair together forming a sextuple system.  How cool is that!