Schedule Jan 17, 2009
A Simple Semi-Analytic Model for Blue Straggler Formation in Globular Cluster Cores
Nathan Leigh (McMaster Univ.)

We present a semi-analytic model to predict blue straggler (BS) numbers in globular cluster (GC) cores. We assume that BSs are formed only through direct stellar collisions and the coalescence of binary systems, and compare observed BS numbers taken from Piotto et al.'s 2002 HST database to derived numbers based on semi-analytic estimates in the context of a static (unevolving) core. Our results are consistent with our earlier observational analyses (Leigh et al. 2007, Knigge et al. in preparation) and suggest that a strong link exists between a cluster's binary population and the formation of its blue stragglers, even in the dense cores of GCs where stellar encounters are the most likely to play an important role. We also discuss the implications of our model for GC evolution, in particular the dueling effects of mass segregation and dynamical interactions.

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