Journal Article

Is it possible to reveal the lost siblings of the Sun?

Yu. N. Mishurov and I. A. Acharova

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 3, pages 1771-1777
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18013.x
Is it possible to reveal the lost siblings of the Sun?

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We present the results of our numerical experiments on stellar scattering in the Galactic disc under the influence of the perturbed Galactic gravitational field associated with spiral density waves. We show that the view according to which stars do not migrate far from their birthplace is, in general, incorrect. Despite close initial locations and the same velocities, after 4.6 Gyr the members of an open cluster are scattered over a very large portion of the Galactic disc. If we assume that the parental solar cluster had ∼103 stars, solar siblings are unlikely to be found within 100 pc of the Sun. They have a good chance of being found, however, if the cluster had ∼104 stars.

We also demonstrate that unbound open clusters disperse in a short period of time under the influence of the spiral gravitational field. Their stars became part of the Galactic disc. We estimate typical times of cluster disruption in the radial and azimuthal directions and the corresponding diffusion coefficients.

Keywords: stars: kinematics and dynamics; solar neighbourhood; Galaxy: structure

Journal Article.  4664 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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