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Exploring the Dynamic History of Proxima and Alpha Centauri Analogs in FIRE

Presentation #407.07 in the session The Milky Way, the Galactic Center — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Exploring the Dynamic History of Proxima and Alpha Centauri Analogs in FIRE

Stellar radial migration plays a crucial role in constraining the dynamical history of old metal-rich stars on thin disk orbits in the solar neighborhood. Theory suggests such stars were likely born nearer the Galactic center, where star-forming gas became metal enhanced at early epochs, and then redistributed into the solar neighborhood at later times through resonant interaction with transient spiral structure. This is almost certainly the case for our nearest stellar neighbors, Proxima Centauri and Alpha Centauri A and B, which are among the most metal-rich ([Fe/H] ~ 0.2-0.25 dex) old (5.0 Gyr ± 0.3 Gyr) stars in local volume. However, this migratory process and the influence such dynamic galactic perturbations could have had on the orbital eccentricities of Proxima Centauri, and Alpha Centauri A and B has never been explicitly modeled together before. In this presentation, I explore the possible migratory history the Centauri star system could have experienced in its lifetime using the Latte suite of Milky Way-mass cosmological FIRE-2 galaxy simulations. In this study, I backtrack the formation location and subsequent evolutionary path Centauri star system analogs could have experienced and develop an analytic model to describe galactic perturbations it experienced over time.

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