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Blue straggler - bigger and bluer star formation

  • Integrity Education, Delhi
  • 03, Sep 2021
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  • A blue straggler is a main-sequence star in an open or globular cluster that is more luminous and bluer than stars at the main sequence turnoff point for the cluster.
  • Blue stragglers were first discovered by Allan Sandage in 1953
  • Indian researchers found that half of the blue stragglers in their sample are formed through mass transfer from a close binary companion star, one third are likely formed through collisions of 2 stars, and the remaining are formed through interactions of more than 2 stars.

Formation Process

  • A bunch of stars born at the same time from the same cloud form a star cluster.
  • As time passes, each star evolves differently depending on its mass.
  • The most massive and bright stars evolve and move off the main sequence creating a bend in their track, known as the turnoff.
  • Some stars seem to be hotter than the turnoff of the parent cluster, they are termed “Blue Stragglers”