Double star

visual companiondouble starsoptical doubleoptical companiondoubleoptical binaryoptical companionsopticaloptical componentsoptical double star
Not to be confused with Binary star.wikipedia
548 Related Articles

Star system

multiple star systemmultiple systemstriple star
Multiple stars are also studied in this way, although the dynamics of multiple stellar systems are more complex than those of binary stars.
A star system of two stars is known as a binary star, binary star system or physical double star.

Zeta Ursae Majoris

Mizarζ Ursae Majoris80 Ursae Majoris
Mizar, in Ursa Major, was observed to be double by Benedetto Castelli and Galileo.
It forms a well-known naked eye double star with the fainter star Alcor, and is itself a quadruple star system.

Ursa Major

Great BearOrsa MaggioreBear
Mizar, in Ursa Major, was observed to be double by Benedetto Castelli and Galileo.
ζ Ursae Majoris, Mizar, the second star in from the end of the handle of the Big Dipper, and the constellation's fourth-brightest star. Mizar, which means "girdle," forms a famous double star, with its optical companion Alcor (80 Ursae Majoris), the two of which were termed the "horse and rider" by the Arabs. The ability to resolve the two stars with the naked eye is often quoted as a test of eyesight, although even people with quite poor eyesight can see the two stars.

Proper motion

proper motionsproper-motionhigh proper motion star
If the relative motion of a pair determines a curved arc of an orbit, or if the relative motion is small compared to the common proper motion of both stars, it may be concluded that the pair is in mutual orbit as a binary star.
Two or more stars, double stars or open star clusters, which are moving in similar directions, exhibit so-called shared or common proper motion (or cpm.), suggesting they may be gravitationally attached or share similar motion in space.

Optical telescope

telescopetelescopesoptical
In observational astronomy, a double star or visual double is a pair of stars that appear close to each other as viewed from Earth, especially with the aid of optical telescopes.
In the ideal case, the two components of a double star system can be discerned even if separated by slightly less than \alpha_R.

Gamma Arietis

γγ Ariγ Arietis
The identification of other doubles soon followed: Robert Hooke discovered one of the first double-star systems, Gamma Arietis, in 1664, while the bright southern star Acrux, in the Southern Cross, was discovered to be double by Fontenay in 1685.
The double star nature of this system was discovered by Robert Hooke in 1664.

Binary star

spectroscopic binaryeclipsing binarybinary
This occurs because the pair either forms a binary star (i.e. a binary system of stars in mutual orbit, gravitationally bound to each other) or is an optical double, a chance line-of-sight alignment of two stars at different distances from the observer.
The term double star is often used synonymously with binary star; however, double star can also mean optical double star.

Alpha Capricorni

α CapricorniAlgiediα 1,2 Capricorni
Superscripts are also used to distinguish more distant, physically unrelated, pairs of stars with the same Bayer designation, such as α 1,2 Capricorni, ξ 1,2 Centauri, and ξ 1,2 Sagittarii.
Alpha Capricorni (α Capricorni, abbreviated Alpha Cap, α Cap) is an optical double star in the constellation of Capricornus.

Apparent magnitude

apparent visual magnitudemagnitudevisual magnitude
Since that time, the search has been carried out thoroughly and the entire sky has been examined for double stars down to a limiting apparent magnitude of about 9.0.
For example, photometry on closely separated double stars may only be able to produce a measurement of their combined light output.

Observational astronomy

astronomical observationobservationsobservational
In observational astronomy, a double star or visual double is a pair of stars that appear close to each other as viewed from Earth, especially with the aid of optical telescopes.
The position or cross-wire micrometer is an implement that has been used to measure double stars.

Crux

Southern CrossSouthern Cross constellationconstellation
The identification of other doubles soon followed: Robert Hooke discovered one of the first double-star systems, Gamma Arietis, in 1664, while the bright southern star Acrux, in the Southern Cross, was discovered to be double by Fontenay in 1685.
Gamma Crucis, called Gacrux, is an optical double star.

Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve

StruveFriedrich G. W. von StruveFriedrich Georg Wilhelm (von) Struve
Other examples include Δ65, the 65th double discovered by James Dunlop, and Σ2451, discovered by F. G. W. Struve.
He is best known for studying double stars and for initiating a triangulation survey later named Struve Geodetic Arc in his honor.

Washington Double Star Catalog

WDSMultiple star catalogsWDS catalog
The Washington Double Star Catalog, a large database of double and multiple stars, contains over 100,000 entries, each of which gives measures for the separation of two components.
The Washington Double Star Catalog, or WDS, is a catalog of double stars, maintained at the United States Naval Observatory.

Robert Hooke

HookeDr Robert HookeHooke, Robert
The identification of other doubles soon followed: Robert Hooke discovered one of the first double-star systems, Gamma Arietis, in 1664, while the bright southern star Acrux, in the Southern Cross, was discovered to be double by Fontenay in 1685.
Hooke also was an early observer of the rings of Saturn, and discovered one of the first observed double-star systems, Gamma Arietis, in 1664.

Sherburne Wesley Burnham

S. W. BurnhamSherburne W. BurnhamBurnham
In 1873 – 1874, he produced a catalog of double stars.

Alpha1 Capricorni

α 1 Capα¹ CapricorniAlpha 1
Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 Capricorni
Alpha 1 Capricorni, Latinized from α 1 Capricorni, is a double star in the southern constellation of Capricornus.

Alpha2 Capricorni

α 2 CapAlpha 2 Capricorniα 2 Capricorni
Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 Capricorni
It is visible to the naked eye with an apparent visual magnitude of +3.57, forming part of the double star Alpha Capricorni along with α¹ Capricorni.

Otto Struve

OttoO. StruveStruve, Otto
As early as December 1923, Struve defended his PhD thesis on short-period spectroscopic double stars at the University of Chicago.

James Dunlop

Dunlop
Other examples include Δ65, the 65th double discovered by James Dunlop, and Σ2451, discovered by F. G. W. Struve.
Dunlop's other major observational work was of 256 southern double stars or "pairs" below the declination of about 30° South.

Winnecke 4

M40WNC4
Winnecke 4 (Messier 40)
Winnecke 4 (also known as Messier 40 or WNC 4) is a double star in the constellation Ursa Major.

Bayer designation

Bayerdesignationdesignations
Some bright visual double stars have a Bayer designation.
Usually these are double stars (mostly optical doubles rather than true binary stars), but there are some exceptions such as the chain of stars π 1, π 2, π 3, π 4, π 5 and π 6 Orionis.

P Eridani

6 Erip Erip Eridani A
p Eridani
It was found to be a double star in December 1825 by James Dunlop in Australia at his home at Paramatta, now spelt Parramatta.

Capella

AlhaiotAlpha Aurigaealpha Aurigae (Capella)
Capella
Most are only line-of-sight companions, but the close pair of red dwarfs H and L are at the same distance as the bright component A and moving through space along with it. Capella A is itself a spectroscopic binary with components Aa and Ab, both giants.

Alpha Centauri

α CentauriAlphaα Centauri A
Alpha Centauri
For example, in about 6,200 AD, α Centauri's true motion will cause an extremely rare first-magnitude stellar conjunction with β Centauri, forming a brilliant optical double star in the southern sky.

Castor (star)

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