BBC Sky at Night

EXPLAINER

Amazing stars: Mizar and Alcor

Giles Sparrow reveals the secrets of this intriguing stellar system in the Plough asterism

Stars, like bobbies on the beat, have a tendency to come in pairs. Born in large clusters from collapsing clouds of interstellar gas, they’re gregarious by nature, and many emerge from the turbulent breakup of their birth cluster still locked in orbit with one or more companions. Most of these stellar pairings are too closely bound

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