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The dynamical evolution of fractal star clusters: The survival of substructure

Goodwin, S. P. and Whitworth, Anthony Peter 2004. The dynamical evolution of fractal star clusters: The survival of substructure. Astronomy and Astrophysics 413 (3) , pp. 929-937. 10.1051/0004-6361:20031529

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We simulate the dynamics of fractal star clusters, in order to investigate the evolution of substructure in recently formed clusters. The velocity dispersion is found to be the key parameter determining the survival of substructure. In clusters with a low initial velocity dispersion, the ensuing collapse of the cluster tends to erase substructure, although some substructure may persist beyond the collapse phase. In clusters with virial ratios of 0.5 or higher, initial density substructure survives for several crossing times, in virtually all cases. Even an initially homogeneous cluster can develop substructure, if it is born with coherent velocity dispersion. These results suggest that the simple initial conditions used for many sophisticated N-body simulations could be missing a very important and dramatic phase of star cluster evolution.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 17/04/2014)
Publisher: EDP sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:01

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