ITC Seminar - Kareem El-Badry (Berkeley)


Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 12:00pm to 1:00pm



Wide binaries as dynamical probes

Abstract: The orbits of wide binary stars are fragile and are thus sensitive probes of the dynamical history of Galactic stellar populations. The Gaia mission has recently revolutionized the wide binary field, making it straightforward to assemble large, homogenous, and pure catalogs of binaries with a well-understood selection function. I will discuss recent discoveries enabled by these data, focusing in particular on an unexpected excess population of equal-mass "twin" binaries at wide separations that challenges conventional star formation models. I will also discuss constraints on the Milky Way's MACHO populations derived from the separation distribution of wide halo binaries.

See also: Seminars, 2019 - 20