Modeling the Blue Stragglers in Globular Clusters

  • Chatterjee, Sourav (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Blue stragglers (BS) have been extensively observed in Galactic globular clusters (GGC). primarily with HST. Many theoretical studies have identified BS formation channels and it is understood that dynamics in GCs modifies formation and distribution of the BSs. Despite the wealth of observational data, comprehensive theoretical models including all relevant physical processes in dynamically evolving GCs do not exist. Our dynamical cluster modeling code, developed over the past decade, includes all relevant physical processes in a GC including two-body relaxation, strong scattering, physical collisions, and stellar-evolution (single and binary). We can model GCs with realistic N and provide star-by-star models for GCs directly comparable with the observed data. This proposed study will create realistic GC models with initial conditions from a grid spanning a large range in the multidimensional parameter space including cluster mass, binary fraction, concentration, and Galactic position. Our numerical models combined with observational constraints from existing HST data will for the first time provide explanations for the observed trends in the BS populations in GGCs, the dominant formation channel for these BSs, typical dynamical ages of the BSs, and find detailed dynamical histories of the BSs in GGCs. These models will yield valuable insight on the correlations between the BS properties and a number of cluster dynamical properties (central density, binary fraction, and binary orbital properties) which will potentially help constrain a GC's past evolutionary history. As a bonus a large set of realistic theoretical GC models will be constructed.
Effective start/end date3/1/152/28/17


  • Space Telescope Science Institute (HST-AR-12829.004-A // NAS5-26555)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (HST-AR-12829.004-A // NAS5-26555)


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