AB Mass Center0.0........................
41 Arae A376930.77935.60.?0.58......0.45
Center of H.Z. A0.640.54035.6...............
41 Arae B556930.77935.60.?0.?......0.45
Center of H.Z. B0.150.075035.6...............

NOTE: This animation attempts to relate the orbits (and possible habitable zones) of Stars A and B in the 41 Arae AB system to their common center of mass, using N. Wieth-Knudsen's 1957 estimates and assumed masses of 0.9 and 0.6 Solar for Stars A and B, respectively, based on their probable spectral type. To enlarge the display, the orbits have been arbitrarily rotated by 45 degrees. Although the initial display shows the system's actual orbital tilt (at an inclination of 35.6) from the visual perspective of an observer on Earth, the orbital inclination of any planet that may be discovered someday around either star would likely be different from those of the habitable zone orbits depicted here.

The new Sixth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binaries provides two very old estimates of orbital elements for 41 Arae A and its companion. According to Roland Wielen (1962; see Brs 13 on page 603), who used a computer to mathematically iterate (photographic observations in both coordinates and visual observations of the position angle) to "best fit" estimates, AB travel in an extremely eccentric orbit (e= 0.901) that takes 2,200 years to complete, with a semi-major axis of 210 AUs (23.900", using HIPPARCOS parallax of 0.11381 +/- 0.00136") when viewed at an inclination of 44.88 from the perspective of Earth. On the other hand, N. Wieth-Knudsen (Inf. Circ. 13, 1957) found that the orbit of the AB pair took only 693 years to complete, given a semi-major axis of 91.5 AUs (10.415", same parallax), an eccentricity of 0.779, and an inclination of 35.64. Wieth-Knudsen's estimates were used in Poveda et al (1994, pages 32 to 33).


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