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question on working out the 'separation' of two stars of equal mass (1 Viewer)

RANK 1

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the 2004 astrophysics question asks you to find the separation between 2 binary stars of equal mass.

ok, so i know you use the m1+m2 formula thing to work out the radius, but are you supposed to times the radius by two in order to find the separation between two stars because wouldnt the distance between the two stars be the diameter?

the answer just gives the radius
 

BagOFyarn

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the 2004 astrophysics question asks you to find the separation between 2 binary stars of equal mass.

ok, so i know you use the m1+m2 formula thing to work out the radius, but are you supposed to times the radius by two in order to find the separation between two stars because wouldnt the distance between the two stars be the diameter?

the answer just gives the radius
The 'r' in the formula is not necessarily the radius or 'half' the distance between them. it is indeed the separation distance as a result of the two starts orbiting around a central mass.
 

strawberrye

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The 'r' in the formula is not necessarily the radius or 'half' the distance between them. it is indeed the separation distance as a result of the two starts orbiting around a central mass.
I agree with this, usually the separation distance is measured from the centre of one star to the centre of the other star.
 

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