Journal Article

Monte Carlo simulations of star clusters – IV. Calibration of the Monte Carlo code and comparison with observations for the open cluster M67

Mirek Giersz, Douglas C. Heggie and Jarrod R. Hurley

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 388, issue 1, pages 429-443
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13407.x
Monte Carlo simulations of star clusters – IV. Calibration of the Monte Carlo code and comparison with observations for the open cluster M67

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We outline the steps needed in order to incorporate the evolution of single and binary stars into a particular Monte Carlo code for the dynamical evolution of a star cluster. We calibrate the results against N-body simulations, and present models for the evolution of the old open cluster M67 (which has been studied thoroughly in the literature with N-body techniques). The calibration is done by choosing appropriate free code parameters. We describe, in particular, the evolution of the binary, white dwarf and blue straggler populations, though not all channels for blue straggler formation are represented yet in our simulations. Calibrated Monte Carlo runs show good agreement with results of N-body simulations not only for global cluster parameters, but also for, for example, binary fraction, luminosity function and surface brightness. Comparison of Monte Carlo simulations with observational data for M67 shows that it is possible to get reasonably good agreement between them. Unfortunately, because of the large statistical fluctuations of the numerical data and uncertainties in the observational data the inferred conclusions about the cluster initial conditions are not firm.

Keywords: stellar dynamics; methods: numerical; binaries: general; stars: evolution; open clusters and associations: individual: M67

Journal Article.  9534 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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