Page 1 of 1

astrophysics: binary stars and stellar masses

Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:23 pm
by r.jenkins
When studying visual binary stars, we use the formula
M=(4pi^2R^3)/(GT^2) where T is defined as the period of the "system", with the 2+ stars orbiting a centre point in space. What exactly is this period? What does it look like? How are the stars moving?

I've only ever encounted "single" objects orbiting!

Also, whats happening here when there is more than 2 stars?