Discovery of Another Peculiar Radial Distribution of Blue Stragglers in Globular Clusters: The Case of 47 Tucanae Academic Article uri icon

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  • We have used high resolution WFPC2-HST and wide field ground-based observations to construct a catalog of blue straggler stars (BSS) in the globular cluster 47 Tuc spanning the entire radial extent of the cluster. The BSS distribution is highly peaked in the cluster center, rapidly decreases at intermediate radii, and finally rises again at larger radii. The observed distribution closely resembles that discovered in M3 by Ferraro et al (1993,1997). To date, complete BSS surveys covering the full radial extent (HST in the center and wide field CCD ground based observations of the exterior) have been performed for only these two clusters. Both show a bimodal radial distribution, despite their different dynamical properties. BSS surveys covering the full spatial extent of more globular clusters are clearly required to determine how common bimodality is and what its consequence is for theories of BSS formation and cluster dynamics.


  • Ferraro, Francesco R
  • Beccari, Giacomo
  • Rood, Robert T
  • Bellazzini, Michele
  • Sills, Alison
  • Sabbi, Elena

publication date

  • March 2004