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Chaotic orbits of distant stars

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A disk galaxy model with a dense nucleus and additional perturbing terms is used for the study of properties of orbits of distant stars. Our numerical experiments show that the majority of distant stars are in chaotic orbits. There are distant stars displaying regular orbits as well. A number of distant stars are ejected to the halo on approaching the dense and massive nucleus. A polynomial relationship exists between the mass of the nucleus and the critical angular momentum of the distant stars. Numerical calculations suggest that the majority of distant stars spend their orbital time in the halo where it is easy to be observed. We present evidence that the dominant term for driving stars to distant orbits is the presence of the dense nucleus combined with the perturbation caused by nearby galaxies. The origin of young OB stars observed in the halo is also discussed.

Keywords: Dense nucleus; Distant stars; Galactic models; Orbits

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Physics, Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, University of Thessaloniki, 541 24, Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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