Statistical Analysis of the Probability of Interaction of Globular Clusters with Each Other and with the Galactic Center on the Cosmological Time Scale According to Gaia DR2 Data
This study is aimed at investigating the dynamic evolution of the orbits of stellar globular clusters (GCs). To integrate the orbits backward in time, the authors use models of the time-varying potentials derived from cosmological simulations, which are closest to the potential of the Galaxy. This allows for estimating the probability of close passages (collisions) of GCs with respect to each other and the Galactic center (GalC) in the Galaxy undergoing dynamic changes in the past. To reproduce the dynamics of the Galaxy in time, five potentials selected from the IllustrisTNG-100 large-scale cosmological database, which are similar in their characteristics to the current physical parameters of the Milky Way, are used. With these time-varying potentials, we have reproduced the orbital trajectories of 143 GCs 10 Gyr back in time using our original phi-GPU N-body code. Each GC was treated as a single physical particle with the assigned position and velocity of the cluster center from the Gaia DR2 observations. For each of the potentials, 1000 initial conditions were generated with randomized initial velocities of GCs within the errors of the observational data. In this study, we consider close passages to be passages with a relative distance of less than 100 pc and a relative speed of less than 250 km/s. To select clusters that pass at close distances from the GalC, the following criterion is applied based only on the relative distance: it must be less than 100 pc. Applying the above criteria, the authors obtained statistically significant rates of close passages of GCs with respect to each other and to the GalC. It has been determined that GCs during their evolution have approximately 10 intersecting trajectories with each other on the average and approximately 3 to 4 close passages near the GalC in 1 Gyr at a distance of 50 pc for each of the chosen potentials.
Kinematics and Physics of Celestial Bodies
- Pub Date:
- February 2023
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 18 pages, 7 figures, 5 tables, accepted in Kinematics and Physics of Celestial Bodies