Studies have shown that binary star systems doom any surrounding planets. http://www.universetoday.com/71934/tight-binaries-are-death-stars-for-planets/

Does this mean that we will never be able to inhabit a Tatooine like planet or are there exceptions to this rule in which a habitable planet can exist with two suns.

What would the difference on flight through that solar system be. For example if you were launching Saturn V from that planet how would the affects on it from the binary starts be different than from a single star.

  • $\begingroup$ What about en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_667? There are planets in the habitable zone there, according current analysis. Of course, it's a trinary system, so it's not the same dynamics as a binary system. $\endgroup$ – Don Branson Aug 2 '13 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ Tight binaries - please look up the definitions. Not sure if the two questions fit here. Please refine the post to make it on-topic for space exploration (not just exoplanet astronomy). $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Aug 2 '13 at 19:12

The Universe Today article is out of date. Since it's 2010 publication, NASA has in fact found planetary candidates in binary systems.

The following links are more current infographics:

It is worth noting for habitability purposes that binary systems with planets can be grouped into 3 broad categories:

  • Close Binary Pair - the stars are close enough for planets to orbit them jointly.
  • Near Pairs - the pair are close enough to disrupt planets orbiting one or the other, and far enough apart to preclude habitable zone orbits.
  • Far Pairs - The pair is far enough away (≥1000 AU) to not interfere with habitable zone worlds orbiting a single star within the pair.

Also - far binary companions will be pretty much just a very bright star, much as Sol is from Pluto's aphelion.


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