Re: Pitch Black: the movie

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Mon Feb 21 2000 - 05:25:03 MST

Bruce Dykes <> writes:

> > THREE suns?
> Please. That's most scientifically likely bit of the
> movie. A trinary system is, at least theoretically
> possible, but it wouldn't likely be stable enough to
> develop a planet capable of sustaining life, or
> capturing a rock tht might bear dormant, hibernating
> life.

There are many trinary (and quaternary) systems around. One of my
favorites (for no particular reason) is iota ursae majoris, which is a
bright A star with three dim M stars. Xi ursae majoris consists of two
sunlike G stars and two M stars.

Whether planets can form in systems like that is hard to tell, but if
the separation of the stars is wide planets close to the star will
likely remain stable. This holds for double stars, where orbits
sufficiently close to one star or around both stars sufficiently
remotely are stable; in a trinary system the stable regions would
likely just shrink.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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