A report on Double star and Castor (star)

Astronomers have mistakenly reported observations of a double star in place of J 900 and a faint star in the constellation of Gemini.
A visual band light curve for YY Geminorum (Castor C), adapted from Butler et al. (2015)
Artist's impression of the discs around the young stars HK Tauri A and B.

Appearing to the naked eye as a single star, Castor was first recorded as a double star in 1718 by James Pound, but it may have been resolved into at least two sources of light by Cassini as early as 1678.

- Castor (star)

Castor system (Aa/Ab/Ba/Bb) and YY Geminorum (thus Castor Ca/Cb) is generally considered a physical system

- Double star
Astronomers have mistakenly reported observations of a double star in place of J 900 and a faint star in the constellation of Gemini.

3 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Binary system of two stars

Binary star

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System of two stars that are gravitationally bound to and in orbit around each other.

System of two stars that are gravitationally bound to and in orbit around each other.

Binary system of two stars
Edge-on disc of gas and dust present around the binary star system HD 106906
Algol B orbits Algol A. This animation was assembled from 55 images of the CHARA interferometer in the near-infrared H-band, sorted according to orbital phase.
Artist's conception of a cataclysmic variable system
Artist's impression of the binary star system AR Scorpii
Artist rendering of plasma ejections from V Hydrae
Artist's impression of the sight from a (hypothetical) moon of planet HD 188753 Ab (upper left), which orbits a triple star system. The brightest companion is just below the horizon.
Schematic of a binary star system with one planet on an S-type orbit and one on a P-type orbit
The two visibly distinguishable components of Albireo
Luhman 16, the third closest star system, contains two brown dwarfs.
Planet Lost in the Glare of Binary Stars (illustration)

The more general term double star is used for pairs of stars which are seen to be close together in the sky.

There are also examples of systems beyond ternaries: Castor is a sextuple star system, which is the second-brightest star in the constellation Gemini and one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky.

Star system named DI Cha. While only two stars are apparent, it is actually a quadruple system containing two sets of binary stars.

Star system

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Small number of stars that orbit each other, bound by gravitational attraction.

Small number of stars that orbit each other, bound by gravitational attraction.

Star system named DI Cha. While only two stars are apparent, it is actually a quadruple system containing two sets of binary stars.
Orbits of the HR 6819 hierarchical triple star system: an inner binary with one star (orbit in blue) and a black hole (orbit in red), encircled by another star in a wider orbit (also in blue).
Subsystem notation in Tokovinin's Multiple Star Catalogue
Sirius A (center), with its white dwarf companion, Sirius B (lower left) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
HD 98800 is a quadruple star system located in the TW Hydrae association.

A star system of two stars is known as a binary star, binary star system or physical double star.

A real example of a system with hierarchy 3 is Castor, also known as Alpha Geminorum or α Gem. It consists of what appears to be a visual binary star which, upon closer inspection, can be seen to consist of two spectroscopic binary stars. By itself, this would be a quadruple hierarchy 2 system as in (d), but it is orbited by a fainter more distant component, which is also a close red dwarf binary. This forms a sextuple system of hierarchy 3.

Detail of Bayer's chart for Orion showing the belt stars and Orion Nebula region, with both Greek and Latin letter labels visible

Bayer designation

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Stellar designation in which a specific star is identified by a Greek or Latin letter followed by the genitive form of its parent constellation's Latin name.

Stellar designation in which a specific star is identified by a Greek or Latin letter followed by the genitive form of its parent constellation's Latin name.

Detail of Bayer's chart for Orion showing the belt stars and Orion Nebula region, with both Greek and Latin letter labels visible
Orion constellation map

A good example is the constellation Gemini, where Pollux is Beta Geminorum and the slightly dimmer Castor is Alpha Geminorum.

Usually these are double stars (mostly optical doubles rather than true binary stars), but there are some exceptions such as the chain of stars π1, π2, π3, π4, π5 and π6 Orionis.