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multiple star

noun, Astronomy.
three or more stars lying close together in the celestial sphere and usually united in a single gravitational system.
Origin of multiple star
First recorded in 1840-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for multiple star
Historical Examples
  • When several stars appear in close proximity to each other, they are spoken of, collectively, as a multiple star.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • So θ Orionis, or the Trapezium of Orion, is a multiple star, probably lying in the midst of the nebula.

British Dictionary definitions for multiple star

multiple star

a system of three or more stars associated by gravitation See also binary star
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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multiple star in Science
multiple star  
A system of three or more stars that are bound together by gravity and orbit a common center of mass. The group generally appears as a single star to the naked eye. Astronomers believe that most stars in the universe are part of multiple or binary systems. Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our Sun, is a multiple star system containing three bodies. See also binary star.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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