Calculating Stable Circular Orbits for Binary Stars

Photo: Rhett Allain

Binary stars are cool. But if you have two stars interacting with a gravitational interaction, there are technically 6 coordinates you need to deal with (3 vector components for each star). It’s possible to reduce this to an equivalent 1 dimensional problem, but I’m not going to go over that today. Instead, I’m going to show you two things: how to calculate the initial conditions for stable orbits and…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store