multiple star

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Related to Quadruple star: Triple star system, Trinary star system

multiple star

A group of two or more stars, such as Epsilon Lyrae, that are held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. Orbital motions within multiple systems are complex. For instance, systems containing two or more close binaries in orbit about each other appear to be quite common. See also binary star.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Multiple Star

 

a system of three to seven stars in close proximity in space, revolving about a common center of mass under the action of gravitational forces. Systems of eight or more stars are generally the nuclei of star clusters. Multiple stars similar to the trapezium of Orion are systems whose components are more or less equidistant from one another. Such multiple stars may be unstable. In some cases, stars located significantly farther from or closer to the system and only projected on it in the sky are ascribed to the multiple system. The components of multiple stars can themselves be close (spectral, eclipsing, or other type) binary stars. In this case, there may prove to be more than seven stars in the system.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

multiple star

[′məl·tə·pəl ′stär]
(astronomy)
A system of three or more stars which appear to the naked eye as a single star.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(l-y) [Iota.sup.1] Double star 4.0, 6.6 300 ([[iota].sup.1]) Gamma ([gamma]) Double star 4.7, 8.7 160 Delta ([delta]) Double star 3.8, 11.9 136 M44 Open cluster 3.1 520 ADS 6915 Triple star 6.6, 7.3, 7.5 520 ADS 6921 Quadruple star 6.4, 7.7, 9.4, 9.8 520 M67 Open cluster 6.9 2,600 Object R.A.
During the early-morning hours of December 7th, the westernmost member of the famous quadruple star at the heart of the Orion Nebula will appear only half as bright as usual.
But each component also has a very close companion, making Nu a quadruple star system.
[Theta.sup.1] Orionis is the well-known quadruple star in the heart of the Orion Nebula.
THE TRAPEZIUM quadruple star, |Theta.sup.1~ (||theta~.sup.1~) Orionis in the heart of M42, has long been one of the best-known telescopic sights in the sky.
Similarly, quadruple stars can exist as two pairs far apart, such as Epsilon Lyrae, the famous Double Double.
The most interesting occultations will be of the 3rd-magnitude quadruple stars Beta ([Beta]) Scorpii and Beta Capricorni.