Your browser has javascript turned off or blocked. This will lead to some parts of our website to not work properly or at all. Turn on javascript for best performance.

The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Photograph of Ross Church

Ross Church

Senior lecturer

Photograph of Ross Church

Close encounters in young stellar clusters: implications for planetary systems in the solar neighbourhood

Author

  • Daniel Malmberg
  • Francesca De Angeli
  • Melvyn B Davies
  • Ross P Church
  • Dougal Mackey
  • Mark I. Wilkinson

Summary, in English

The stars that populate the solar neighbourhood were formed in stellar clusters. Through N-body simulations of these clusters, we measure the rate of close encounters between stars. By monitoring the interaction histories of each star, we investigate the singleton fraction in the solar neighbourhood. A singleton is a star which formed as a single star, has never experienced any close encounters with other stars or binaries, or undergone an exchange encounter with a binary. We find that, of the stars which formed as single stars, a significant fraction is not singletons once the clusters have dispersed. If some of these stars had planetary systems, with properties similar to those of the Solar System, the planets' orbits may have been perturbed by the effects of close encounters with other stars or the effects of a companion star within a binary. Such perturbations can lead to strong planet-planet interactions which eject several planets, leaving the remaining planets on eccentric orbits. Some of the single stars exchange into binaries. Most of these binaries are broken up via subsequent interactions within the cluster, but some remain intact beyond the lifetime of the cluster. The properties of these binaries are similar to those of the observed binary systems containing extrasolar planets. Thus, dynamical processes in young stellar clusters will alter significantly any population of Solar System-like planetary systems. In addition, beginning with a population of planetary systems exactly resembling the Solar System around single stars, dynamical encounters in young stellar clusters may produce at least some of the extrasolar planetary systems observed in the solar neighbourhood.

Department/s

  • Lund Observatory

Publishing year

2007

Language

English

Pages

1207-1216

Publication/Series

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Volume

378

Issue

3

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Topic

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Keywords

  • open clusters and associations : general
  • celestial mechanics
  • planetary
  • systems
  • stellar dynamics
  • binaries : general

Status

Published

Research group

  • Observational and Theoretical Astrophysics

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1365-2966