Binary+single encounter that leads to an exchange, followed by a second binary+single encounter that leads to a collision
Within star clusters, close encounters between single and multiple stars can be frequent and may lead to the production of exotic stars like X-ray sources and blue stragglers. By using the small-N-body code FEWBODY and another visualization software, a few visualizations of interesting stellar encounters were created. In all of these movies, star sizes and colors are based on the actual radii and temperatures of the given stars (with some artistic license taken). Color-coded tails are shown to help keep track of the individual stars. During a collision, the encounter is slowed down, and after the collision, the system is paused and rotated, both to show more detail of the interaction. Here are shown four examples.
Credit: Movies by Aaron Geller using IDL and MPEG Streamclip; dynamical calculation performed using FEWBODY / Funding: NSF