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.

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.

multiple star

[′məl·tə·pəl ′stär]
(astronomy)
A system of three or more stars which appear to the naked eye as a single star.
References in periodicals archive ?
The wide-field image on the facing page, taken with the 4-meter telescope of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, shows the nebula's familiar bright heart, centered on the Trapezium quadruple star so well known to backyard telescope users.
A Midyear Galaxy Hunt Object Type Magnitude 67 UMa Quadruple star 5.
Just east of Graffias lies the amazing Nu ([nu]) Scorpii, which some regard as the most beautiful quadruple star in the sky.
The quadruple star ADS 6921 lies in the northern arm of the V.
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.