High-resolution simulations of stellar collisions between equal-mass main-sequence stars in globular clusters Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We performed high-resolution simulations of two stellar collisions relevant for stars in globular clusters. We considered one head-on collision and one off-axis collision between two 0.6 M_sun main sequence stars. We show that a resolution of about 100 000 particles is sufficient for most studies of the structure and evolution of blue stragglers. We demonstrate conclusively that collision products between main-sequence stars in globular clusters do not have surface convection zones larger than 0.004 M_sun after the collision, nor do they develop convection zones during the `pre-main-sequence' thermal relaxation phase of their post-collision evolution. Therefore, any mechanism which requires a surface convection zone (i.e. chemical mixing or angular momentum loss via a magnetic wind) cannot operate in these stars. We show that no disk of material surrounding the collision product is produced in off-axis collisions. The lack of both a convection zone and a disk proves a continuing problem for the angular momentum evolution of blue stragglers in globular clusters.

publication date

  • May 1, 2002