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Message started by MissEuropa on 06/01/12 at 11:54:20

Title: Binary System with Orbiting Planet(s)
Post by MissEuropa on 06/01/12 at 11:54:20

Hello!
Currently I'm researching the potential of binary systems to harbor Earth like planets. To determine stability in the orbit I would like to use gravity simulator. I've gotten to the point of having two stars orbiting a common center of mass but am struggling to add a planet that isn't eventually flung off into oblivion. The system needs to be a P type binary, in which the planet orbits the two stars as they orbit a common center of mass. The stars are also relatively close in mass +/- 0.05 solar masses, they are both K stars. One should be about 0.78 solar masses and the other 0.72 solar masses. The semi major axis between the two stars should be between 0.15 AU and 0.2 AU.
Any suggestions are welcomed! I'd like to keep my planet if I can. :-)
Thanks in advance!
Miss Europa

Title: Re: Binary System with Orbiting Planet(s)
Post by Tony on 06/01/12 at 17:55:41

Welcome.

File > New
Objects> Edit Objects
Change name and color and size to your preference.
Change mass to 0.78 solar mass.

Objects> Create objects
SMA: 0.15 AU
Choose values for name size and color. Leave all other values at their default.
Press Create.

Cont... on next post

Title: Re: Binary System with Orbiting Planet(s)
Post by Tony on 06/01/12 at 18:05:16

Cont...

Objects> Create objects
Make sure the first object is selected as the reference object.
IMPORTANT: click the barycenter option under "Reference Object" otherwise Gravity simulator will compute the planet"s orbital elements around the primary star only, rather than around the binary pair, and your planet will shoot off into space.

Select values for orbital elements.  I believe the planet"s SMA must be at least about 4x the SMA of the two stars or it will not be stable.

Press create.

That should do it.

Title: Re: Binary System with Orbiting Planet(s)
Post by MissEuropa on 06/02/12 at 10:16:09

And it did do it! Awesome.
Thanks so much for your help.

Title: Re: Binary System with Orbiting Planet(s)
Post by frankuitaalst on 06/03/12 at 07:10:33

It would be great if the simulations comply with the work of  P.Wiegert
http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/9809315v1.pdf

Title: Re: Binary System with Orbiting Planet(s)
Post by MissEuropa on 06/06/12 at 11:30:09

I concur, especially since I am referencing his work in my research. But all is well, I've got the simulations running storing data every 15 minutes to determine orbital stability. So far, so good, now just waiting a couple billion years or so. :-)

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.

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