Pre-Lab Quiz: Binary Stars


Discuss each question with your team. Be prepared to explain the reasoning behind your team's answers after the quiz.

  1. A binary star is
    • A star system consisting of 0 or 1 components
    • A star system consisting of two components
    • A star that formed from two stars that merged
    • A star with two dumbbell-like lobes resulting from high spin
  2. Which best describes an eclipsing binary?
    • A star that, like the Sun, is regularly hidden behind the Moonа
    • A pair of stars whose orbits we see roughly edge-onа
    • A star system with planets that eclipse the star's lightа
    • A pair of stars that orbit a common center of massа
  3. How do we detect eclipsing binaries?а
    • by watching the motion of the individual stars around each otherа
    • by looking for blinking starsа
    • by looking for stars with regular changes in brightnessа
    • by receiving their radio pulsesа
  4. Which is the most common way binary stars form?а
    • from a collapsing molecular cloudа
    • from the merger of two larger starsа
    • when a collapsing star that spins so quickly it splits in twoа
    • when two stars pass close enough that they start orbiting each otherа
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