Analytic Model of a Star Cluster that Includes Potential Escapers

Maxwell Cai, National Astronomical Observatories of China,
Advisors: Mark Gieles, Douglas Heggie and Anna-Lisa Varri

Abstract: The evolution of star clusters are driven by both internal and external mechanisms. In this paper we investigate the role of galactic tidal fields as one of the external mechanisms that cause the dissolution of open clusters. The effect of galactic tidal fields is measured by the cluster life-time. While most previous studies modeled the trajectory of star clusters on circular orbits, we model the more general scenario where star clusters are moving along eccentric orbits, and thus experiencing time-dependent periodic tidal fields. We carry out a grid of simulations exploring the parameter space of different potentials, different orbital eccentricity and different size of star cluster. We scale the life-time of open clusters on eccentric orbits as a function of eccentricity, and obtained further results from the N-body scaling technique.

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