SCYON Abstract

Received on December 4 2000

Direct N-body Modelling of Stellar Populations:
Blue Stragglers in M67

AuthorsJarrod R. Hurley1,3, Christopher A. Tout1, Sverre J. Aarseth1, Onno R. Pols2
Affiliation1 Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK,
2 Department of Mathematics, P.O. Box 28M, Monash University, Victoria, 3800, Australia,
3 Current address: Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024
Accepted byMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Links NGC 2682 (M67)


We present a state-of-the-art N-body code which includes a detailed treatment of stellar and binary evolution as well as the cluster dynamics. This code is ideal for investigating all aspects relating to the evolution of star clusters and their stellar populations. It is applicable to open and globular clusters of any age. We use the N-body code to model the blue straggler population of the old open cluster M67.

Preliminary calculations with our binary population synthesis code show that binary evolution alone cannot explain the observed numbers or properties of the blue stragglers. On the other hand, our N-body model of M67 generates the required number of blue stragglers and provides formation paths for all the various types found in M67.

This demonstrates the effectiveness of the cluster environment in modifying the nature of the stars it contains and highlights the importance of combining dynamics with stellar evolution. We also perform a series of N = 10,000 simulations in order to quantify the rate of escape of stars from a cluster subject to the Galactic tidal field.