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Type Ia Supernovae and Planets in Star Clusters

  • Michael M. Shara (a1) and Jarrod R. Hurley (a1)

Abstract

Star clusters are remarkably efficient (relative to the field) at making type Ia supernovae candidates: very short period, massive double-white-dwarf stars and giant-white dwarf binaries. The high frequency of these systems is the result of dynamical encounters between (mostly) primordial binaries and other cluster stars. Orbital hardening rapidly drives the degenerate binaries to periods under ∼ 10 hours. Gravitational radiation emission and mergers then produce supra-Chandrasekhar objects in less than a Hubble time.

We also find that free-floating planets can remain bound to a star cluster for much longer than was previously assumed: of the order of the cluster half-mass relaxation timescale as opposed to the crossing-time. The planets in our N-body study are of Jupiter mass and are initially placed in circular orbits of between 0.05 and 50 AU about a parent star whose mass is chosen from a realistic initial mass function. This result is important in the context of the preliminary detection of a population of free-floating sub-stellar objects in the globular cluster M22.

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Copyright

References

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