Q: Assume that both stars in CV Vel move in
perfect circles. What is the orbital
radius R for each star? Express your
value in AU.
(period) * (velocity)
orbital radius R = ----------------------
2 * pi
(595,210 s) * (133,000 m/s)
= ----------------------------
2 * pi
= 1.27 x 10^(10) m
= 0.0845 AU
Q: What is the separation between the two stars?
This serves as the semi-major axis "a" in Kepler's
Third Law when the two objects are comparable
in mass to each other.
separation a = 2 * R
= 0.169 AU
Q: What is the total mass of the CV Vel system?
3
(semi-major axis in AU)
total mass (solar) = -------------------------
2
(Period in years)
(0.169 AU)^3
= ---------------- = 13.5 solar masses
(0.0189 year)^2