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The Impact of Stellar Collisions in the Galactic Center

Davies, Melvyn B LU ; Church, Ross LU ; Malmberg, Daniel LU ; Nzoke Baman, Serge LU ; Dale, J. and Freitag, M. (2011) Conference on the Galactic Center: A Window to the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies In The Galactic Center: A Window on the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies 439. p.212-221
Abstract
We consider whether stellar collisions can explain the observed depletion of red giants in the Galactic center. We model the stellar population with two different IMFs: 1) the Miller-Scalo and 2) a much flatter IMF. In the former case, low-mass main-sequence stars dominate the population, and collisions are unable to remove red giants out to 0.4 pc although brighter red giants much closer in may be depleted via collisions with stellar-mass black holes. For a much flatter IMF, the stellar population is dominated by compact remnants (i.e. black holes, white dwarfs and neutron stars). The most common collisions are then those between main-sequence stars and compact remnants. Such encounters are likely to destroy the main-sequence stars and... (More)
We consider whether stellar collisions can explain the observed depletion of red giants in the Galactic center. We model the stellar population with two different IMFs: 1) the Miller-Scalo and 2) a much flatter IMF. In the former case, low-mass main-sequence stars dominate the population, and collisions are unable to remove red giants out to 0.4 pc although brighter red giants much closer in may be depleted via collisions with stellar-mass black holes. For a much flatter IMF, the stellar population is dominated by compact remnants (i.e. black holes, white dwarfs and neutron stars). The most common collisions are then those between main-sequence stars and compact remnants. Such encounters are likely to destroy the main-sequence stars and thus prevent their evolution into red giants. In this way, the red-giant population could be depleted out to 0.4 pc matching observations. If this is the case, it implies the Galactic center contains a much larger population of stellar-mass black holes than would be expected from a regular IMF. This may in turn have implications for the formation and growth of the central supermassive black hole. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
The Galactic Center: A Window on the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies
volume
439
pages
212 - 221
publisher
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
conference name
Conference on the Galactic Center: A Window to the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies
external identifiers
  • wos:000291890200040
ISBN
978-1-58381-758-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9e8de55e-6ce0-424d-ab87-1f0d3d831635 (old id 2049335)
alternative location
http://arxiv.org/abs/1002.0338v2
date added to LUP
2011-07-26 13:07:17
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:16:46
@inproceedings{9e8de55e-6ce0-424d-ab87-1f0d3d831635,
  abstract     = {We consider whether stellar collisions can explain the observed depletion of red giants in the Galactic center. We model the stellar population with two different IMFs: 1) the Miller-Scalo and 2) a much flatter IMF. In the former case, low-mass main-sequence stars dominate the population, and collisions are unable to remove red giants out to 0.4 pc although brighter red giants much closer in may be depleted via collisions with stellar-mass black holes. For a much flatter IMF, the stellar population is dominated by compact remnants (i.e. black holes, white dwarfs and neutron stars). The most common collisions are then those between main-sequence stars and compact remnants. Such encounters are likely to destroy the main-sequence stars and thus prevent their evolution into red giants. In this way, the red-giant population could be depleted out to 0.4 pc matching observations. If this is the case, it implies the Galactic center contains a much larger population of stellar-mass black holes than would be expected from a regular IMF. This may in turn have implications for the formation and growth of the central supermassive black hole.},
  author       = {Davies, Melvyn B and Church, Ross and Malmberg, Daniel and Nzoke Baman, Serge and Dale, J. and Freitag, M.},
  booktitle    = {The Galactic Center: A Window on the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies},
  isbn         = {978-1-58381-758-2},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {212--221},
  publisher    = {Astronomical Society of the Pacific},
  title        = {The Impact of Stellar Collisions in the Galactic Center},
  volume       = {439},
  year         = {2011},
}