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(measure of the binding energy of a binary)

The term Hardness is used for a parameter of the orbit of a Binary Star expressing the Binding Energy, specifically compared to the Kinetic Energy of the surrounding stars. The term is used (along with Hardening Rate) in discussing whether and when the binary is likely to coalesce (collide), particularly based upon their orbits being modified by interactions with passing stars.

The term has been used in the analysis of the coalescing of binary Supermassive Black Holes after Galaxy Mergers.

(dynamics,binary stars,orbits)