Orbits Of Double And Multiple Stars
The orbits of double stars, where the sizes of the orbits have been determined, provide the only information we have about the masses of stars other than the Sun. Close doublestars will become decidedly non-spherical because of tidal distortion and/or rapid rotation, which produces effects analogous to those described above for close artificial planetary satellites. Also, such stars often have gas streaming from their tidal and equatorial bulges, which can transfer mass from one star to the other, or can even eject it completely out of the system. Such effects are suspected to be present in close doublestars where their period of revolution is found to be changing.
Multiple stars with three (triple) or more (multiple) members have very complicated orbits for their member stars, and require many perturbing effects to be considered. The investigation of the orbits of double and multiple stars is important for solving many problems in astrophysics, stellar structure, and stellar evolution.