The origin and evolution of very wide binary stars

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A significant fraction of the binary stars in the field have separations larger than 1000 AU, even reaching up to a parsec. It is difficult to explain the origin of these as a result of the star-formation process alone. Dynamical processes, such as the capture of unbound stars by bound binary systems and the decay of unstable triple systems provide good mechanisms for the formation of these wide systems. Both processes predict that a large fraction of wide binary stars are, in fact, triple or quadruple systems and also that these systems generally have high eccentricities. I will provide an overview of the origin and dynamical evolution of wide binaries and how observations can be used to distinguish between the different formation mechanisms. Finally, I will discuss the origin and evolution of wide planetary systems in the same context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


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