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Re: Speculation Re Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri 1

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Posted by RSK/">RSK on May 31, 1998 15:56:31 UTC

: Although there has been no discovery of a planet, : recent research projects have shown that planets could : indeed be orbiting either Alpha Centauri A or B. A standard rule of thumb is that stable planetary orbits can be found in multiple systems if those orbits are no more than 1/5 the distance to the nearest neighbor. In the case of Alpha Centauri, this works out to about 5 AU for both stars. There are other matters to take into account, but in general, this works quite well for this system. Proxima Centauri, liekly to not even be physically associated with this system, is so far away from the primary members that it could have a large system of planets indeed. Of course, it is too dim to allow for life, as far as we know....

Actually, since the orbits of the stars are elliptical, with a maximum distance of 23AUs and a minimum of 11, the stable zone would be about 2AUs.

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