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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 313022 matches for " Richard J. Parker "
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Probing brown dwarf formation mechanisms with Gaia
Richard J. Parker
Physics , 2014,
Abstract: One of the fundamental questions in star formation is whether or not brown dwarfs form in the same way as stars, or more like giant planets. If their formation scenarios are different, we might expect brown dwarfs to have a different spatial distribution to stars in nearby star-forming regions. In this contribution, we discuss methods to look for differences in their spatial distributions and show that in the only nearby star-forming region with a significantly different spatial distribution (the Orion Nebula Cluster), this is likely due to dynamical evolution. We then present a method for unravelling the past dynamical history of a star-forming region, and show that in tandem with Gaia, we will be able to discern whether observed differences are due to distinct formation mechanisms for brown dwarfs compared to stars.
Dynamics versus structure: breaking the density degeneracy in star formation
Richard J. Parker
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2054
Abstract: The initial density of individual star-forming regions (and by extension the birth environment of planetary systems) is difficult to constrain due to the "density degeneracy problem": an initially dense region expands faster than a more quiescent region due to two-body relaxation and so two regions with the same observed present-day density may have had very different initial densities. We constrain the initial densities of seven nearby star-forming regions by folding in information on their spatial structure from the $\mathcal{Q}$-parameter and comparing the structure and present-day density to the results of $N$-body simulations. This in turn places strong constraints on the possible effects of dynamical interactions and radiation fields from massive stars on multiple systems and protoplanetary discs. We apply our method to constrain the initial binary population in each of these seven regions and show that the populations in only three - the Orion Nebula Cluster, $\rho$ Oph and Corona Australis - are consistent with having evolved from the Kroupa universal initial period distribution and a binary fraction of unity.
Clustered Star Formation: A Review
Richard J. Parker
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-03041-8_86
Abstract: In this contribution I present a review of star formation in clusters. I begin by discussing the various definitions of what constitutes a star cluster, and then compare the outcome of star formation (IMF, multiplicity, mass segregation and structure and morphology) in different star-forming regions. I also review recent numerical models of star formation in clusters, before ending with a summary of the potential effects of dynamical evolution in star clusters.
Spatial differences between stars and brown dwarfs: a dynamical origin?
Richard J. Parker,Morten Andersen
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu615
Abstract: We use $N$-body simulations to compare the evolution of spatial distributions of stars and brown dwarfs in young star-forming regions. We use three different diagnostics; the ratio of stars to brown dwarfs as a function of distance from the region's centre, $\mathcal{R}_{\rm SSR}$, the local surface density of stars compared to brown dwarfs, $\Sigma_{\rm LDR}$, and we compare the global spatial distributions using the $\Lambda_{\rm MSR}$ method. From a suite of twenty initially statistically identical simulations, 6/20 attain $\mathcal{R}_{\rm SSR} << 1$ $and$ $\Sigma_{\rm LDR} << 1$ $and$ $\Lambda_{\rm MSR} << 1$, indicating that dynamical interactions could be responsible for observed differences in the spatial distributions of stars and brown dwarfs in star-forming regions. However, many simulations also display apparently contradictory results - for example, in some cases the brown dwarfs have much lower local densities than stars ($\Sigma_{\rm LDR} << 1$), but their global spatial distributions are indistinguishable ($\Lambda_{\rm MSR} = 1$) and the relative proportion of stars and brown dwarfs remains constant across the region ($\mathcal{R}_{\rm SSR} = 1$). Our results suggest that extreme caution should be exercised when interpreting any observed difference in the spatial distribution of stars and brown dwarfs, and that a much larger observational sample of regions/clusters (with complete mass functions) is necessary to investigate whether or not brown dwarfs form through similar mechanisms to stars.
The role of cluster evolution in disrupting planetary systems and disks: the Kozai mechanism
Richard J. Parker,Simon P. Goodwin
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15037.x
Abstract: We examine the effects of dynamical evolution in clusters on planetary systems or protoplanetary disks orbiting the components of binary stars. In particular, we look for evidence that the companions of host stars of planetary systems or disks could have their inclination angles raised from zero to between the threshold angles (39.23 degrees and 140.77 degrees) that can induce the Kozai mechanism. We find that up to 20 per cent of binary systems have their inclination angles increased to within the threshold range. Given that half of all extrasolar planets could be in binary systems, we suggest that up to 10 per cent of extrasolar planets could be affected by this mechanism.
The effects of dynamical interactions on planets in young substructured star clusters
Richard J. Parker,Sascha P. Quanz
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19911.x
Abstract: We present N-body simulations of young substructured star clusters undergoing various dynamical evolutionary scenarios and examine the direct effects of interactions in the cluster on planetary systems. We model clusters initially in cool collapse, in virial equilibrium and expanding, and place a 1 Jupiter-mass planet at either 5au or 30au from their host stars, with zero eccentricity. We find that after 10Myr 10% of planets initially orbiting at 30au have been liberated from their parent star and form a population of free-floating planets. A small number of these planets are captured by other stars. A further 10% have their orbital eccentricity significantly altered. The change in eccentricity is often accompanied by a change in orbital inclination which may lead to additional dynamical perturbations in planetary systems. The fraction of liberated and disrupted planetary systems is highest for subvirial clusters, but virial and supervirial clusters also dynamically process planetary systems, due to interactions in the substructure. Of the planets that become free-floating, those that remain observationally associated with the cluster (within two half-mass radii of the cluster centre) have a similar velocity distribution to the entire star cluster, irrespective of whether they were on a 5au or a 30au orbit, with median velocities typically 1km/s. Conversely, those planets that are no longer associated with the cluster have similar velocities to the non-associated stars if they were originally at 5au (9km/s), whereas planets originally at 30au have much lower velocities (3.8km/s) than the stars (10.8km/s). These findings highlight potential pitfalls of concluding that (a) planets with similar velocities to the cluster stars represent the very low-mass end of the IMF, and (b) planets on the periphery of a cluster with very different observed velocities form through different mechanisms.
The same, but different: Stochasticity in binary destruction
Richard J. Parker,Simon P. Goodwin
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21190.x
Abstract: Observations of binaries in clusters tend to be of visual binaries with separations of 10s - 100s au. Such binaries are 'intermediates' and their destruction or survival depends on the exact details of their individual dynamical history. We investigate the stochasticity of the destruction of such binaries and the differences between the initial and processed populations using N-body simulations. We concentrate on Orion Nebula Cluster-like clusters, where the observed binary separation distribution ranges from 62 - 620 au. We find that, starting from the same initial binary population in statistically identical clusters, the number of intermediate binaries that are destroyed after 1 Myr can vary by a factor of >2, and that the resulting separation distributions can be statistically completely different in initially substructured clusters. We also find that the mass ratio distributions are altered (destroying more low mass ratio systems), but not as significantly as the binary fractions or separation distributions. We conclude that finding very different intermediate (visual) binary populations in different clusters does not provide conclusive evidence that the initial populations were different.
Comparisons between different techniques for measuring mass segregation
Richard J. Parker,Simon P. Goodwin
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv539
Abstract: We examine the performance of four different methods which are used to measure mass segregation in star-forming regions: the radial variation of the mass function $\mathcal{M}_{\rm MF}$; the minimum spanning tree-based $\Lambda_{\rm MSR}$ method; the local surface density $\Sigma_{\rm LDR}$ method; and the $\Omega_{\rm GSR}$ technique, which isolates groups of stars and determines whether the most massive star in each group is more centrally concentrated than the average star. All four methods have been proposed in the literature as techniques for quantifying mass segregation, yet they routinely produce contradictory results as they do not all measure the same thing. We apply each method to synthetic star-forming regions to determine when and why they have shortcomings. When a star-forming region is smooth and centrally concentrated, all four methods correctly identify mass segregation when it is present. However, if the region is spatially substructured, the $\Omega_{\rm GSR}$ method fails because it arbitrarily defines groups in the hierarchical distribution, and usually discards positional information for many of the most massive stars in the region. We also show that the $\Lambda_{\rm MSR}$ and $\Sigma_{\rm LDR}$ methods can sometimes produce apparently contradictory results, because they use different definitions of mass segregation. We conclude that only $\Lambda_{\rm MSR}$ measures mass segregation in the classical sense (without the need for defining the centre of the region), although $\Sigma_{\rm LDR}$ does place limits on the amount of previous dynamical evolution in a star-forming region.
The dynamical evolution of very-low mass binaries in open clusters
Richard J. Parker,Simon P. Goodwin
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17722.x
Abstract: Very low-mass binaries (VLMBs), with system masses <0.2 Msun appear to have very different properties to stellar binaries. This has led to the suggestion that VLMBs form a distinct and different population. As most stars are born in clusters, dynamical evolution can significantly alter any initial binary population, preferentially destroying wide binaries. In this paper we examine the dynamical evolution of initially different VLMB distributions in clusters to investigate how different the initial and final distributions can be. We find that the majority of the observed VLMB systems, which have separations <20 au, cannot be destroyed in even the densest clusters. Therefore, the distribution of VLMBs with separations <20 au now must have been the birth population (although we note that the observations of this population may be very incomplete). Most VLMBs with separations >100 au can be destroyed in high-density clusters, but are mainly unaffected in low-density clusters. Therefore, the initial VLMB population must contain many more binaries with these separations than now, or such systems must be made by capture during cluster dissolution. M-dwarf binaries are processed in the same way as VLMBs and so the difference in the current field populations either points to fundamentally different birth populations, or significant observational incompleteness in one or both samples.
On the spatial distributions of stars and gas in numerical simulations of molecular clouds
Richard J. Parker,James E. Dale
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: We compare the spatial distribution of stars which form in hydrodynamical simulations to the spatial distribution of the gas, using the $\mathcal{Q}$-parameter. The $\mathcal{Q}$-parameter enables a self-consistent comparison between the stars and gas because it uses a pixelated image of the gas as a distribution of points, in the same way that the stars (sink particles in the simulations) are a distribution of points. We find that, whereas the stars have a substructured, or hierarchical spatial distribution ($\mathcal{Q} \sim 0.4 - 0.7$), the gas is dominated by a smooth, concentrated component and typically has $\mathcal{Q} \sim 0.9$. We also find no statistical difference between the structure of the gas in simulations that form with feedback, and those that form without, despite these two processes producing visually different distributions. These results suggest that the link between the spatial distributions of gas, and the stars which form from them, is non-trivial.
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