SCYON Abstract

Received on: 26 10 2022

Discovery of double BSS sequences in the old Galactic open cluster Berkeley 17

Authors:K. K. Rao 1, S. Bhattacharya 2, K. Vaidya 1, M. Agrawal 3
Affiliations:(1) Department of physics, Birla Institute of Technology and Science-Pilani, 333031 Rajasthan, India; (2) Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Ganeshkhind, Post Bag 4, Pune 411007, India; (3) Department of Physics and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Accepted by: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Blue straggler stars (BSS) are peculiar objects which normally appear as a single broad sequence along the extension of the main sequence. Only four globular clusters (GCs) have been observed to have two distinct and parallel BSS sequences. For the first time for any open cluster (OC), we report double BSS sequences in Berkeley 17. Using the machine-learning based membership algorithm ML-MOC on Gaia EDR3 data, we identify 627 cluster members, including 21 BSS candidates out to 15' from the cluster center. Both the BSS sequences are almost equally populated and parallel to one another in Gaia as well as in Pan-STARRS colour-magnitude diagram (CMD). We statistically confirm their presence and report that both BSS sequences are highly segregated compared to the reference population out to ~5.5' and not segregated thereafter. The lower densities of OCs make BSS formation impossible via the collisional channel. Therefore, mass transfer seems to be the only viable channel for forming candidates of both sequences. The gap between the red and blue BSS sequences, on the other hand, is significant and presents a great opportunity to understand the connection between BSS formation and internal as well as external dynamics of the parent clusters.

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