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Young stars in the Galactic Centre: a potential intermediate-mass star origin

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posted on 2006-11-06, 11:29 authored by L.M. Dray, Andrew R. King, Melvyn B. Davies
There has been recent speculation (Davies & King 2005) that the cores of intermediate-mass stars stripped of their envelopes by tidal interaction with the supermassive black hole in the Galactic centre could form a population observationally similar to the so-called Sgr A* cluster or ‘S’ stars, which have close eccentric orbits around the hole. We model the evolution of such stars, and show that the more luminous end of the population may indeed appear similar to young B stars within the observational limits of the Galactic Centre region. Whether some or all of these cluster stars can be accounted for in this manner depends strongly on the assumed IMF of the loss cone stars and the scattering rate. If most of the observed stars are in fact scattered from the Galactic Centre inner cusp region itself then the population of ∼ 20 to current observational limits may be reproduced. However, this only works if the local relaxation time is small and relies on the cusp stars themselves being young, i.e. it is dependent on some star formation being possible in the central few parsecs. Conversely, we obtain a possible constraint on the tidal stripping rate of ‘normal’-IMF stars if there are not to be red stars visible in the Sgr A* cluster.



Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2006, 372, pp.31-44

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