Blue straggler stars: Lessons from open clusters

Aaron M Geller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Open clusters enable a deep dive into blue straggler characteristics. Recent work shows that the binary properties (frequency, orbital elements and companion masses and evolutionary states) of the blue stragglers are the most important diagnostic for determining their origins. To date the multi-epoch radial-velocity observations necessary for characterizing these blue straggler binaries have only been carried out in open clusters. In this paper, I highlight recent results in the open clusters NGC 188, NGC 2682 (M67) and NGC 6819. The characteristics of many of the blue stragglers in these open clusters point directly to origins through mass transfer from an evolved donor star. Additionally, a handful of blue stragglers show clear signatures of past dynamical encounters. These comprehensive, diverse and detailed observations also reveal important challenges for blue straggler formation models (and particularly the mass-transfer channel), which we must overcome to fully understand the origins of blue straggler stars and other mass-transfer products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-508
Number of pages4
JournalMemorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana - Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event2016 Cosmic-Lab Conference: Star Clusters as Cosmic Laboratories for Astrophysics, Dynamics and Fundamental Physics, MODEST 2016 - Bologna, Italy
Duration: Apr 18 2016Apr 22 2016


  • Binaries: spectroscopic
  • Blue stragglers
  • Open clusters and associations: individual (NGC 188, NGC 2682, NGC 6819)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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