Journal Article

Monte Carlo simulations of star clusters – VII. The globular cluster 47 Tuc

Mirek Giersz and Douglas C. Heggie

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 410, issue 4, pages 2698-2713
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Monte Carlo simulations of star clusters – VII. The globular cluster 47 Tuc

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We describe Monte Carlo models for the dynamical evolution of the massive globular cluster 47 Tuc (NGC 104). The code includes treatments of two-body relaxation, most kinds of three- and four-body interactions involving primordial binaries and those formed dynamically, the Galactic tide, and the internal evolution of both single and binary stars. We arrive at a set of initial parameters for the cluster which, after 12 Gyr of evolution, gives a model with a fairly satisfactory match to surface brightness and density profiles, the velocity dispersion profile, the luminosity function in two fields and the acceleration of pulsars. Our models appear to require a relatively steep initial mass function for stars above about turnoff, with an index of about 2.8 (where the Salpeter mass function has an index of 2.35), and a relatively flat initial mass function (index about 0.4) for the lower main sequence. According to the model, the current mass is estimated at 0.9 million solar masses, of which about 34 per cent consists of remnants. We find that primordial binaries are gradually taking over from mass loss by stellar evolution as the main dynamical driver of the core. Despite the high concentration of the cluster, core collapse will take at least another 20 Gyr.

Keywords: methods: numerical; globular clusters: individual: 47 Tuc; globular clusters: individual: NGC 104

Journal Article.  13532 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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