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3Body Simulation - Arbitrary Mass Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri Binary

* Simulation requires Internet Explorer 9+, or recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari web browsers

The following simulates the orbital evolution of a hypothetical planet orbiting either of the two primary stars in the Alpha Centauri star system (the third member, Proxima Centauri – the closest known star to our sun – is neglected because of its extreme distance from the central binary pair).

The planet's home star, distance, and mass can be arbitrarily set, while its initial velocity is computed such that it begins in a circular orbit (with zero eccentricity). Due to the gravitational influence of the opposing star, the planet's orbit may gradually shift and become more eccentric. In extreme cases, the planet may even be ejected from the system or captured by the other star.

The purpose of this simulation is to give you an idea of which orbits are stable inside the Alpha Centauri system. As the nearest star system to our own, this is of great interest to the scientific community today.

Simulation Parameters

Select Star that Planet will Orbit:

Alpha Cen A [default]

Alpha Cen B

Choose Reference Frame:

Alpha Cen A [default]

Alpha Cen B

System Center of Mass

Key For Plot:   AlphaA = Blue   |   AlphaB = Red   |   Planet = Gray


Simulation Results

Planet's Home Star: ---

Reference Frame: ---

Planet's Mass [Solar-Masses]: ---

Planet's initial Distance from Home Star [AU]: ---   (position: --- x, --- y)

Planet's final Distance from Home Star [AU]: ---   (position: --- x, --- y)

Planet's maximum Distance from Home Star [AU]: ---

Planet's minimum Distance from Home Star [AU]: ---

Planet's initial Velocity [km/s]: ---   (--- Vx, --- Vy)

Planet's final Velocity [km/s]: ---   (--- Vx, --- Vy)

Planet's maximum Velocity [km/s]: ---

Planet's minimum Velocity [km/s]: ---

* velocities are relative to reference frame

Simulated Runtime [Years]: ---

Time Step: --- [Years]   (--- [Days])

Total Number of Steps: ---

Number of Points Plotted (per data series): ---

More results and statistics coming soon...



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