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The Singleton Fraction of Stars Formed in Stellar Clusters

Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Publication Date
  • Physics And Astronomy


Most stars form in some sort of stellar cluster or association. In such clusters the number density of stars can be very high. Thus, single stars in such clusters may undergo frequent close encounters with other stars and exchange encounters with binary systems. The perturbation caused by the other star in a close encounter or by the companion star in a binary can have significant effects on the evolution of any planetary system around the initially single star. If the planetary system which formed around the single star was originally solar-system-like, planet-planet interactions, induced by the perturbation from other stars, may change it significantly and leave it more like some of the planetary systems which are observed around other stars. Only if the host star of an initially solar-system-like planetary system never undergoes any encounters with other stars and is never exchanged into a binary may the planetary system remain solar-system like. We define such a star to be a SINGLETON.

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