Research led by Paul A Mason from the University of Texas at El Paso said binary stars attract each other to their centre of gravity but also deform mutually due to the action of the so called tidal forces. (Agencies)
Researchers said it is well known that tidal forces could also break the rotation of the bodies implied. The best documented case is that of our Moon that has reduced its rotation rate due to tidal forces from Earth, to the point that it spins as slowly as it revolves around the Earth.
This is why the Moon always gives the same face to the Earth. This phenomenon is called tidally synchronization and it is a common feature among moons, close-in exoplanets and off-course binary systems.
If the stars in a binary system are synchronized from the very beginning and at the same period of translation in their orbits, activity of young stars in those systems could be substantially reduced.
In other words, very young stellar components of tidally synchronized binaries could look like grown up quiet stars, at least in terms of rotation and hence magnetic activity, an effect called by the researchers as rotational ageing.
The benefits of an early rotational ageing are that planets could receive much less high energy radiation at the beginning of their evolution probably preserving their gaseous envelopes and/or their inventory of water, researchers said.
Researchers applied these ideas to evaluate the case of all the binary systems with known planets discovered by Kepler Telescope. They found that at least 3 systems, Kepler 34, Kepler 47 and Kepler 64, could be very hospitable to planets because one or both the components are tidally synchronized and hence its activity has been reduced below the level of single stars of the same age.
Kepler 34 could even harbour more than one habitable planet inside its Goldilocks Zone, researchers said.
Research led by Paul A Mason from the University of Texas at El Paso said binary stars attract each other to their centre of gravity but also deform mutually due to the action of the so called tidal forces.