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Multiple star systems

MGOpilot

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 16

Report this Apr. 21 2002, 2:01 pm

The fact is that a majority of what is seen in the night sky as singular points of light are actually multiple star systems. Those that aren’t distant galaxies are mostly binary and double binary, or more, systems. See Natural History magazine, 10-01. This starts back with Herschel’s work. The writers of Star Trek should have taken this in account. I remember only one episode, in TNG, which had a binary.

JRK

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 192

Report this Apr. 22 2002, 3:12 pm

Two thoughts.

1)Asimov wrote a piece a good number of decades ago that postulated the idea that we could be a member of a binary star system and not know it.

2)The Earth is at just the right distance from the sun for conditions to be the way they are. The inclination of the axis of revolution is just right to allow the seasons that we have. The existence of the moon and its size and distance are just right to allow the tides that we have. Is it a stretch to think that perhaps a binary star system would be incapable of supporting life? In that case the only systems Enterprize would visit would be unary star systems.

qarcher

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 138

Report this Apr. 22 2002, 3:24 pm

Yes, generally as far as we know multiple star-systems either have no planets or gas giants, so no real point in make too much of a big deal of these types of systems.

MGOpilot

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 16

Report this Apr. 22 2002, 8:06 pm

Our companion star, Nemesis, is a brown dwarf that comes close every 26 million yrs. Upsetting the Oort Cloud, sending many comets toward the inner system. Some hit asteroids, sending them this way,too. Some have been large enough to cause 4 of 5 major extinctions. Next due in 13 million yrs. This is theoretical, but very plausible.

MGOpilot

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 16

Report this Apr. 22 2002, 8:15 pm

There is much less likelihood of habitable planets in binary (or more) systems, and they make up more than half of the galaxy. Also, the inner half and outer quarter of the galactic disc have much less chance of habitable planets. That still leaves around 5 million stars that could have class M planets.

Tacky_Hillbilly

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POSTS: 9

Report this Apr. 24 2002, 4:13 pm

The fact that most binaries remain inherently unstable prvent the formation of planets most of time. Second the enterprise mostly visits planets with lifeforms similar to members of the federation where as any lifeform developed in a binary would be signifigantly diffrent.

maxq

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 14

Report this Apr. 25 2002, 1:59 am

A few things...

1) Nemesis does not exsist. It was a fantastic idea ment to move the K-T bolide extinction hypothesis into an extinction paradigm. No other extictions have associated impacts so far -- period,and the largest extinction event (251 million years ago) seems to be caused by CO2 poisoning.

2) There’s no reason why Earth mass (or Jupiter mass) planets couldn’t orbit binary systems or stars in binary systems. There are potentially stable orbits (albeit highly elliptical) within multiple systems. The reason why no extrasolar planets have been discovered around binaries is simply a matter of detection technique.

3) I also don’t see any reason why higher organisms (humanoids) couldn’t evolve in binary systems. So say you have a highly elliptical orbit where for half of the "year" (however long that is) the planet is frozen. Organisms would just have to adapt to this freeze-thaw environment. It would be harsh, yes; extreme, yes; but not totally impossible.

MGOpilot

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 16

Report this Apr. 27 2002, 1:36 pm

4 out of the past 5 (we are in the middle of the 6th) extintion episodes were on a 26 million year cycle. Nemesis was a possible explanation. Galactic arm movement was considered, but that is a 25 million yr. cycle. Too much O2 killed many plants at first, and too much CO2 could have killed many animals, from a heavily volcanic period. Only one other crater remnant has been found besides the Yucatan, but weathering and subduction probably took awawy the rest. A nearby supernova event is a possible cause for one of them. The 6th Extintion by Richard Leakey is a good book, although I prefer to think that humans will speciate into high IQ people that aren’t greedy, don’t overbreed, and live within the ecological limits of our planet--- the low IQ overbreeders will become just a higher primate form and interbreeding will no longer be possible. Leaky thinks humans will go extinct after the population crash and ecodestruction. Crash 2050, preceded by 20 yrs. of economic depression. Current extintion phase caused by greedy and/or low IQ and/or immoral humans.

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