Constraints on blue straggler formation mechanisms in galactic globular clusters from proper motion velocity distributions

N. W.C. Leigh*, T. Panurach, M. Simunovic, A. M. Geller, D. Zurek, M. M. Shara, A. Sills, C. Knigge, N. M. Gosnell, R. Mathieu, T. H. Puzia, J. Ventura, Q. Minor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

For a sample of 38 galactic globular clusters (GCs), we confront the observed distributions of blue straggler (BS) proper motions and masses (derived from isochrone fitting) from the BS catalogue of Simunovic & Puzia with theoretical predictions for each of the two main competing BS formation mechanisms. These are mass transfer from an evolved donor on to a main-sequence (MS) star in a close binary system, and direct collisions involving MS stars during binary encounters.We use the FEWBODY code to perform simulations of single-binary and binary-binary interactions. This provides collisional velocity and mass distributions for comparison to the observed distributions. Most clusters are consistent with BSs derived from a dynamically relaxed population, supportive of the binary mass-transfer scenario. In a few clusters, including all the post-core collapse clusters in our sample, the collisional velocities provide the best fit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume482
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Binaries: general
  • Blue stragglers
  • Globular clusters: general
  • Scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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