The New Cosmos pp 131-136 | Cite as

Double Stars and the Masses of the Stars

  • Albrecht Unsöld
Part of the Heidelberg Science Library book series (HSL)


In 1803 F. W. Herschel discovered that a Gem = Castor is a visual double star whose components move round each other under the influence of their mutual attraction. Thus the observation of double stars offers the possibility of determining the masses of stars or at anyrate of making quantitative assertions about them. Since the masses of stars are detectable only through their gravitational interaction, the investigation of double stars is even now of fundamental significance for the whole of astrophysics.


Spectral Type Binary Star Main Sequence Star Single Star Double Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Double Stars and the Masses of the Stars

  1. Russell, H. N., and Ch. E. Moore: The masses of the stars. 2nd edn. Astrophys. Monographs. Chicago Univ. Press 1946.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albrecht Unsöld
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical Physics and University ObservatoryKielGermany

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