A MegaCam survey of outer halo satellites. II. Blue stragglers in the lowest stellar density systems

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/774/2/106
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TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
ISSN0004-637X
Volume774
Issue2
Article number106
AbstractWe present a homogeneous study of blue straggler stars across 10 outer halo globular clusters, 3 classical dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and 9 ultra-faint galaxies based on deep and wide-field photometric data taken with MegaCam on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. We find blue straggler stars to be ubiquitous among these Milky Way satellites. Based on these data, we can test the importance of primordial binaries or multiple systems on blue straggler star formation in low-density environments. For the outer halo globular clusters, we find an anti-correlation between the specific frequency of blue stragglers and absolute magnitude, similar to that previously observed for inner halo clusters. When plotted against density and encounter rate, the frequency of blue stragglers is well fit by a single trend with a smooth transition between dwarf galaxies and globular clusters; this result points to a common origin for these satellites' blue stragglers. The fraction of blue stragglers stays constant and high in the low encounter rate regime spanned by our dwarf galaxies, and decreases with density and encounter rate in the range spanned by our globular clusters. We find that young stars can mimic blue stragglers in dwarf galaxies only if their ages are 2.5 ± 0.5 Gyr and they represent ∼1%-7% of the total number of stars, which we deem highly unlikely. These results point to mass-transfer or mergers of primordial binaries or multiple systems as the dominant blue straggler formation mechanism in low-density systems. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA-IHA)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269994
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Record identifierc84bd68a-2ad6-4ef9-a8fd-187a67ba0ca0
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-07-18
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