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Star Chains in (globular) clusters


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Often, as I gaze at "professional" quality images of (globular) star clusters, I am struck by the appearance of "chains" of stars. Are these real or simply a chance line-up? I see (at least in the 50s!), this was even a topic of academic papers. Since then, and with the advent of computer simulation perhaps, I suspect we now have a more definitive answer... Anyone? :D

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No idea but this would be a great 'Ask Alan' for Astronomy Now...

An Astrofest lecture suggested, if I remember, that one dynamic effect in Globs was a tendency for the black holes (from high mass star collapse) to fall into the centre and that low mass stars would rise and be ejected in a kind of large scale 'evaporation.'

Olly

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It's just that your eye/brain is good at picking out chains like this. There is no physical significance to them. Olly is right though about the mass segregation -- heavy things end up in the middle and light things get kicked out. It happens in all mass systems; globular clusters, open clusters, galaxy clusters...

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