Formation Channels for Blue Straggler Stars
In this chapter we consider two formation channels for blue straggler stars: (1) the merger of two single stars via a collision, and (2) those produced via mass transfer within a binary. We review how computer simulations show that stellar collisions are likely to lead to relatively little mass loss and are thus effective in producing a young population of more-massive stars. The number of blue straggler stars produced by collisions will tend to increase with cluster mass. We review how the current population of blue straggler stars produced from primordial binaries decreases with increasing cluster mass. This is because exchange encounters with third, single stars in the most massive clusters tend to reduce the fraction of binaries containing a primary close to the current turn-off mass. Rather, their primaries tend to be somewhat more massive and have evolved off the main sequence, filling their Roche lobes in the past, often converting their secondaries into blue straggler stars (but more than 1 Gyr or so ago and thus they are no longer visible today as blue straggler stars).
KeywordsGlobular Cluster Main Sequence Main Sequence Star Roche Lobe Asymptotic Giant Branch
This book is the result of a meeting held at ESO, Chile. I thank the local organisers for their hospitality. I thank Christian Knigge for pointing out the importance of stellar evolution when considering the evolution of a population of binaries within a stellar cluster.