Double Stars pp 118-122 | Cite as

On the Origin of Binary Stars

  • Wulff D. Heintz
Part of the Geophysics and Astrophysics Monographs book series (GAAM, volume 15)


What is now known about binaries in general shows that their genesis is a basic process related to the formation of stars and not an accidental byproduct. The very high overall abundance of binary and multiple stars and their continuous distribution over the entire possible range of orbit sizes, that is, of angular momenta, without fundamental differences between wider and closer pairs, would suffice to establish the point. The pre-stellar state evolves in the direction of decreasing the ratio of angular momentum to mass, and can hardly be assumed to be conservative with respect to either quantity. The classical model of stellar evolution, that of a mass possessing spherical symmetry and lacking angular momentum (no rotation nor orbital motion), often holds as a satisfactory approximation but is clearly not the regularly occurring case in reality.


Angular Momentum Main Sequence Binary Star Rotational Instability Close Binary 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wulff D. Heintz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AstronomySwarthmore CollegeSwarthmoreUSA

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