Follow this link to skip to the main content

Binary Systems - Try This!

Binary Systems

Try this!

Have you ever wondered how a very small, bright star can be overshadowed by a large, dimmer star?

Obtain two balls, a bright yellow tennis ball and a dark colored or black soccer ball. Place the balls on a table and ask a friend for help to move the balls around. Have your friend move the tennis ball around the soccer ball so that it passes in front of and behind the soccer ball. You then, stand back and observe how the large dim star (the soccer ball) can obscure the view of the smaller, brighter star (the tennis ball).

  1. Give me the Solution!

This activity was developed by Jacqueline Slay, Largo High School, Largo, MD


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration