Ejection of pulsars and binaries to the outskirts of globular clusters

E. S. Phinney, Steinn Sigurdsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

THREE-BODY interactions can eject stars, singly or in binaries, from the core of a globular cluster to its outskirts, whither dynamical friction may take more than 108 yr to return them. We show here that such a process can explain why the binary pulsar 2127 + 11C in the cluster Ml5 (and perhaps 1744-24A in Terzan 5) is now far from the cluster core. A suitable encounter could have given the pulsar enough velocity to eject it to its present position, and also replaced its original stellar companion with a neutron star. For ejection of PSR2127 +11C to be likely, the core of M15 must be composed of heavy degenerate stars at a density greater than 107pc-3, maintained for ≳108yr; this is consistent with previous dynamical estimates. A natural combination of factors enables us to see 2127 + 11C: a binary of longer period could not have received a large enough impulse to escape the core, whereas one of shorter period would have been ejected from the cluster or would have collapsed because of orbital decay by gravitational radiation. Pulsars and pulsar binaries ejected from clusters will contribute to the birth rate of recycled pulsars in the inner Galaxy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-223
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume349
Issue number6306
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

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globular clusters
ejection
pulsars
stars
encounters
gravitational waves
neutron stars
escape
impulses
friction
galaxies
orbitals
decay
estimates
interactions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Phinney, E. S. ; Sigurdsson, Steinn. / Ejection of pulsars and binaries to the outskirts of globular clusters. In: Nature. 1991 ; Vol. 349, No. 6306. pp. 220-223.
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Ejection of pulsars and binaries to the outskirts of globular clusters. / Phinney, E. S.; Sigurdsson, Steinn.

In: Nature, Vol. 349, No. 6306, 01.01.1991, p. 220-223.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - THREE-BODY interactions can eject stars, singly or in binaries, from the core of a globular cluster to its outskirts, whither dynamical friction may take more than 108 yr to return them. We show here that such a process can explain why the binary pulsar 2127 + 11C in the cluster Ml5 (and perhaps 1744-24A in Terzan 5) is now far from the cluster core. A suitable encounter could have given the pulsar enough velocity to eject it to its present position, and also replaced its original stellar companion with a neutron star. For ejection of PSR2127 +11C to be likely, the core of M15 must be composed of heavy degenerate stars at a density greater than 107pc-3, maintained for ≳108yr; this is consistent with previous dynamical estimates. A natural combination of factors enables us to see 2127 + 11C: a binary of longer period could not have received a large enough impulse to escape the core, whereas one of shorter period would have been ejected from the cluster or would have collapsed because of orbital decay by gravitational radiation. Pulsars and pulsar binaries ejected from clusters will contribute to the birth rate of recycled pulsars in the inner Galaxy.

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