Modeling the radial distribution of blue stragglers in M31

Steinn Sigurdsson, Melvyn B. Davies, Michael Bolte

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Recent surveys of the blue straggler (BS) population in the Galactic globular cluster M3 (NGC 5272) give the first complete characterization of the number density of BSs as a function of radius over an entire globular cluster. The BSs in M3 are overabundant at large radii and significantly underabundant at intermediate radii. Here we present the result of a simulation of the dynamical evolution of a population of BSs in a multimass model of M3. Assuming the BSs were formed in the core through binary interactions (Hut & Verbundt 1983; Leonard 1989; Sigurdsson & Phinney 1993; Hut et al. 1992b; Davies, Benz, & Hills 1994), and given some very general assumptions about the recoil that occurs during stellar mergers in interacting binaries, we find an excellent fit to the observed radial distribution of BSs, suggesting strongly that most of the BSs in M3 were formed through binary collisions in the core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L115-L118
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Aug 20 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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