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|Integrated-Light Two Micron All Sky Survey Infrared Photometry of Galactic Globular Clusters|
We have mosaicked Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) images to derivesurface brightness profiles in J, H, and Ks for 104 Galacticglobular clusters. We fit these with King profiles and show that thecore radii are identical to within the errors for each of these IRcolors and are identical to the core radii at V in essentially allcases. We derive integrated-light colors V-J, V-H, V-Ks, J-H,and J-Ks for these globular clusters. Each color shows areasonably tight relation between the dereddened colors and metallicity.Fits to these are given for each color. The IR - IR colors have verysmall errors, due largely to the all-sky photometric calibration of the2MASS survey, while the V-IR colors have substantially largeruncertainties. We find fairly good agreement with measurements ofintegrated-light colors for a smaller sample of Galactic globularclusters by M. Aaronson, M. Malkan, and D. Kleinmann from 1977. Ourresults provide a calibration for the integrated light of distantsingle-burst old stellar populations from very low to solarmetallicities. A comparison of our dereddened measured colors withpredictions from several models of the integrated light of single-burstold populations shows good agreement in the low-metallicity domain forV-Ks colors but also shows an offset at a fixed [Fe/H] of~0.1 mag in J-Ks, which we ascribe to photometric systemtransformation issues. Some of the models fail to reproduce the behaviorof the integrated-light colors of the Galactic globular clusters nearsolar metallicity.
|2D Fokker-Planck models of rotating clusters|
Globular clusters rotate significantly, and with the increasing amountof detailed morphological and kinematical data obtained in recent yearson galactic globular clusters many interesting features show up. We showhow our theoretical evolutionary models of rotating clusters can be usedto obtain fits, which at least properly model the overall rotation andits implied kinematics in full 2D detail (dispersions, rotationvelocities). Our simplified equal mass axisymmetric rotating modelprovides detailed two-dimensional kinematical and morphological data forstar clusters. The degree of rotation is not dominant in energy, butalso non-negligible for the phase-space distribution function, shape andkinematics of clusters. Therefore, the models are well applicable forgalactic globular clusters. Since previously published papers on thatmatter by us made it difficult to do detailed comparisons withobservations, we provide a much more comprehensive and easy-to-use setof data here, which uses as entries dynamical age and flattening ofobserved cluster and then offers a limited range of applicable models infull detail. The method, data structure and some exemplary comparisonwith observations are presented. Future work will improve modelling anddata base to take a central black hole, a mass spectrum and stellarevolution into account.
|Surface Brightness Profiles of Galactic Globular Clusters from Hubble Space Telescope Images|
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) allows us to study the central surfacebrightness profiles of globular clusters at unprecedented detail. Wehave mined the HST archives to obtain 38 WFPC2 images of Galacticglobular clusters with adequate exposure times and filters, which we useto measure their central structure. We outline a reliable method toobtain surface brightness profiles from integrated light that we test onan extensive set of simulated images. Most clusters have central surfacebrightness about 0.5 mag brighter than previous measurements made fromground-based data, with the largest differences around 2 mag. Includingthe uncertainties in the slope estimates, the surface brightness slopedistribution is consistent with half of the sample having flat cores andthe remaining half showing a gradual decline from 0 to -0.8[dlogΣ/dlogr)]. We deproject the surface brightness profiles in anonparametric way to obtain luminosity density profiles. Thedistribution of luminosity density logarithmic slopes shows similarfeatures, with half of the sample between -0.4 and -1.8. These resultsare in contrast to our theoretical bias that the central regions ofglobular clusters are either isothermal (i.e., flat central profiles) orvery steep (i.e., luminosity density slope approximately -1.6) forcore-collapse clusters. With only 50% of our sample having centralprofiles consistent with isothermal cores, King models appear torepresent most globular clusters in their cores poorly.
|Globular cluster system and Milky Way properties revisited|
Aims.Updated data of the 153 Galactic globular clusters are used toreaddress fundamental parameters of the Milky Way, such as the distanceof the Sun to the Galactic centre, the bulge and halo structuralparameters, and cluster destruction rates. Methods: .We build areduced sample that has been decontaminated of all the clusters youngerthan 10 Gyr and of those with retrograde orbits and/or evidence ofrelation to dwarf galaxies. The reduced sample contains 116 globularclusters that are tested for whether they were formed in the primordialcollapse. Results: .The 33 metal-rich globular clusters([Fe/H]≥-0.75) of the reduced sample basically extend to the Solarcircle and are distributed over a region with the projected axial-ratiostypical of an oblate spheroidal, Δ x:Δ y:Δz≈1.0:0.9:0.4. Those outside this region appear to be related toaccretion. The 81 metal-poor globular clusters span a nearly sphericalregion of axial-ratios ≈1.0:1.0:0.8 extending from the central partsto the outer halo, although several clusters in the external regionstill require detailed studies to unravel their origin as accretion orcollapse. A new estimate of the Sun's distance to the Galactic centre,based on the symmetries of the spatial distribution of 116 globularclusters, is provided with a considerably smaller uncertainty than inprevious determinations using globular clusters, R_O=7.2±0.3 kpc.The metal-rich and metal-poor radial-density distributions flatten forR_GC≤2 kpc and are represented well over the full Galactocentricdistance range both by a power-law with a core-like term andSérsic's law; at large distances they fall off as R-3.9. Conclusions: .Both metallicity components appearto have a common origin that is different from that of the dark matterhalo. Structural similarities between the metal-rich and metal-poorradial distributions and the stellar halo are consistent with a scenariowhere part of the reduced sample was formed in the primordial collapseand part was accreted in an early period of merging. This applies to thebulge as well, suggesting an early merger affecting the central parts ofthe Galaxy. The present decontamination procedure is not sensitive toall accretions (especially prograde) during the first Gyr, since theobserved radial density profiles still preserve traces of the earliestmerger(s). We estimate that the present globular cluster populationcorresponds to ≤23±6% of the original one. The fact that thevolume-density radial distributions of the metal-rich and metal-poorglobular clusters of the reduced sample follow both a core-likepower-law, and Sérsic's law indicates that we are dealing withspheroidal subsystems at all scales.
|Nearby Spiral Globular Cluster Systems. I. Luminosity Functions|
We compare the near-infrared (JHK) globular cluster luminosity functions(GCLFs) of the Milky Way, M31, and the Sculptor Group spiral galaxies.We obtained near-infrared photometry with the Persson's AuxiliaryNasmyth Infrared Camera on the Baade Telescope for 38 objects (mostlyglobular cluster candidates) in the Sculptor Group. We also havenear-infrared photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)-6Xdatabase for 360 M31 globular cluster candidates and aperture photometryfor 96 Milky Way globular cluster candidates from the 2MASS All-Sky andSecond Incremental Release databases. The M31 6X GCLFs peak at absolutereddening-corrected magnitudes of MJ0=-9.18,MH0=-9.73, and MK0=-9.98.The mean brightness of the Milky Way objects is consistent with that ofM31 after accounting for incompleteness. The average Sculptor absolutemagnitudes (correcting for relative distance from the literature andforeground reddening) are MJ0=-9.18,MH0=-9.70, and MK0=-9.80.NGC 300 alone has absolute foreground-dereddened magnitudesMJ0=-8.87, MH0=-9.39, andMK0=-9.46 using the newest Gieren et al. distance.This implies either that the NGC 300 GCLF may be intrinsically fainterthan that of the larger galaxy M31 or that NGC 300 may be slightlyfarther away than previously thought. Straightforward application of ourM31 GCLF results as a calibrator gives NGC 300 distance moduli of26.68+/-0.14 using J, 26.71+/-0.14 using H, and 26.89+/-0.14 using K.Data for this project were obtained at the Baade 6.5 m telescope, LasCampanas Observatory, Chile.
|RR Lyrae-based calibration of the Globular Cluster Luminosity Function|
We test whether the peak absolute magnitude MV(TO) of theGlobular Cluster Luminosity Function (GCLF) can be used for reliableextragalactic distance determination. Starting with the luminosityfunction of the Galactic Globular Clusters listed in Harris catalogue,we determine MV(TO) either using current calibrations of theabsolute magnitude MV(RR) of RR Lyrae stars as a function ofthe cluster metal content [Fe/H] and adopting selected cluster samples.We show that the peak magnitude is slightly affected by the adoptedMV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation, with the exception of that based onthe revised Baade-Wesselink method, while it depends on the criteria toselect the cluster sample. Moreover, grouping the Galactic GlobularClusters by metallicity, we find that the metal-poor (MP) ([Fe/H]<-1.0, <[Fe/H]>~-1.6) sample shows peak magnitudes systematicallybrighter by about 0.36mag than those of the metal-rich (MR) ([Fe/H]>-1.0, (<[Fe/H]>~-0.6) one, in substantial agreement with thetheoretical metallicity effect suggested by synthetic Globular Clusterpopulations with constant age and mass function. Moving outside theMilky Way, we show that the peak magnitude of the MP clusters in M31appears to be consistent with that of Galactic clusters with similarmetallicity, once the same MV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation is used fordistance determination. As for the GCLFs in other external galaxies,using Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) measurements we giveevidence that the luminosity functions of the blue (MP) GlobularClusters peak at the same luminosity within ~0.2mag, whereas for the red(MR) samples the agreement is within ~0.5mag even accounting for thetheoretical metallicity correction expected for clusters with similarages and mass distributions. Then, using the SBF absolute magnitudesprovided by a Cepheid distance scale calibrated on a fiducial distanceto Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we show that the MV(TO)value of the MP clusters in external galaxies is in excellent agreementwith the value of both Galactic and M31 ones, as inferred by an RR Lyraedistance scale referenced to the same LMC fiducial distance. Eventually,adopting μ0(LMC) = 18.50mag, we derive that the luminosityfunction of MP clusters in the Milky Way, M31, and external galaxiespeak at MV(TO) =-7.66 +/- 0.11, - 7.65 +/- 0.19 and -7.67 +/-0.23mag, respectively. This would suggest a value of -7.66 +/- 0.09mag(weighted mean), with any modification of the LMC distance modulusproducing a similar variation of the GCLF peak luminosity.
|Photometry and Spectroscopy of Old, Outer Disk Star Clusters: vdB-Hagen 176, Berkeley 29, and Saurer 1|
It has been previously proposed that some distant open clusters in theMilky Way may have been accreted during a dwarf galaxy merger, perhapsassociated with the same event that led to the formation of the Galacticanticenter stellar structure (GASS), also known as the Monoceros Ring.We have obtained VI and Washington + DDO51 photometric andmedium-resolution (R~8000) multifiber spectroscopic data for the threedistant old open clusters Berkeley 29, Saurer 1, and vdB-Hagen 176 (BH176). These clusters are spatially coincident with GASS, but radialvelocities and spectroscopic metallicities were not available duringprevious studies of the GASS candidate cluster system. Similar data forthe clusters Be 20 and Be 39 have been obtained for calibrationpurposes. We provide the first reliable radial velocity for BH 176(Vhelio=11.2+/-5.3 km s-1). We also find thatVhelio=+95.4+/-3.6 and +28.4+/-3.6 km s-1 for Sa1(A) and Be 29, respectively. In contrast to previous findings, we showthat α-enhanced isochrones, while spectroscopically motivated,provide a poor fit to the Be 29 color-magnitude diagram. We find thatthe clusters Be 29 and Sa 1 have properties that are consistent with thepreviously reported characteristics for GASS candidate clusters and theGASS stellar stream as derived from M giant observations. However, theradial velocity and photometric metallicity ([Fe/H]~0.0 dex) for BH 176suggest that a connection of this cluster with the putative GASS clustersystem is unlikely. We reassess the age-metallicity relation for themost likely members of the GASS clusters system for which spectroscopicmetallicities are now available.
|Completing the census of (bright) variable stars in galactic globular clusters .|
We present a long-term project aimed at completing the census of(bright) variable stars in Galactic globular clusters. While our mainaim is to obtain a reliable assessment of the populations of RR Lyraeand type II Cepheid stars in the Galactic globular cluster system, dueattention is also being paid to other types of variables, including SXPhoenicis stars, long-period variables, and eclipsing binaries.
|Resolved Massive Star Clusters in the Milky Way and Its Satellites: Brightness Profiles and a Catalog of Fundamental Parameters|
We present a database of structural and dynamical properties for 153spatially resolved star clusters in the Milky Way, the Large and SmallMagellanic Clouds, and the Fornax dwarf spheroidal. This databasecomplements and extends others in the literature, such as those ofHarris and Mackey & Gilmore. Our cluster sample comprises 50 ``youngmassive clusters'' in the LMC and SMC, and 103 old globular clustersbetween the four galaxies. The parameters we list include central andhalf-light-averaged surface brightnesses and mass densities; core andeffective radii; central potentials, concentration parameters, and tidalradii; predicted central velocity dispersions and escape velocities;total luminosities, masses, and binding energies; central phase-spacedensities; half-mass relaxation times; and ``κ-space'' parameters.We use publicly available population-synthesis models to computestellar-population properties (intrinsic B-V colors, reddenings, andV-band mass-to-light ratios) for the same 153 clusters plus another 63globulars in the Milky Way. We also take velocity-dispersionmeasurements from the literature for a subset of 57 (mostly old)clusters to derive dynamical mass-to-light ratios for them, showing thatthese compare very well to the population-synthesis predictions. Thecombined data set is intended to serve as the basis for futureinvestigations of structural correlations and the fundamental plane ofmassive star clusters, including especially comparisons between thesystemic properties of young and old clusters.The structural and dynamical parameters are derived from fitting threedifferent models-the modified isothermal sphere of King; an alternatemodified isothermal sphere based on the ad hoc stellar distributionfunction of Wilson; and asymptotic power-law models withconstant-density cores-to the surface-brightness profile of eachcluster. Surface-brightness data for the LMC, SMC, and Fornax clustersare based in large part on the work of Mackey & Gilmore, but includesignificant supplementary data culled from the literature and importantcorrections to Mackey & Gilmore's V-band magnitude scale. Theprofiles of Galactic globular clusters are taken from Trager et al. Weaddress the question of which model fits each cluster best, finding inthe majority of cases that the Wilson models-which are spatially moreextended than King models but still include a finite, ``tidal'' cutoffin density-fit clusters of any age, in any galaxy, as well as or betterthan King models. Untruncated, asymptotic power laws often fit about aswell as Wilson models but can be significantly worse. We argue that theextended halos known to characterize many Magellanic Cloud clusters maybe examples of the generic envelope structure of self-gravitating starclusters, not just transient features associated strictly with youngage.
|A Library of Integrated Spectra of Galactic Globular Clusters|
We present a new library of integrated spectra of 40 Galactic globularclusters, obtained with the Blanco 4 m telescope and the R-Cspectrograph at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The spectracover the range ~3350-6430 Å with ~3.1 Å (FWHM) resolution.The spectroscopic observations and data reduction were designed tointegrate the full projected area within the cluster core radii in orderto properly sample the light from stars in all relevant evolutionarystages. The S/N values of the flux-calibrated spectra range from 50 to240 Å-1 at 4000 Å and from 125 to 500Å-1 at 5000 Å. The selected targets span a widerange of cluster parameters, including metallicity, horizontal-branchmorphology, Galactic coordinates, Galactocentric distance, andconcentration. The total sample is thus fairly representative of theentire Galactic globular cluster population and should be valuable forcomparison with similar integrated spectra of unresolved stellarpopulations in remote systems. For most of the library clusters, ourspectra can be coupled with deep color-magnitude diagrams and reliablemetal abundances from the literature to enable the calibration ofstellar population synthesis models. In this paper we present a detailedaccount of the observations and data reduction. The spectral library ispublicly available in electronic format from the National OpticalAstronomical Observatory Web site.
|On the origin of the radial mass density profile of the Galactic halo globular cluster system|
We investigate what may be the origin of the presently observed spatialdistribution of the mass of the Galactic Old Halo globular clustersystem. We propose its radial mass density profile to be a relic of thedistribution of the cold baryonic material in the protogalaxy. Assumingthat this one arises from the profile of the whole protogalaxy minus thecontribution of the dark matter (and a small contribution of the hot gasby which the protoglobular clouds were bound), we show that the massdistributions around the Galactic centre of this cold gas and of the OldHalo agree satisfactorily. In order to demonstrate our hypothesis evenmore conclusively, we simulate the evolution with time, up to an age of15Gyr, of a putative globular cluster system whose initial massdistribution in the Galactic halo follows the profile of the coldprotogalactic gas. We show that beyond a galactocentric distance oforder 2-3kpc, the initial shape of such a mass density profile ispreserved despite the complete destruction of some globular clusters andthe partial evaporation of some others. This result is almostindependent of the choice of the initial mass function for the globularclusters, which is still ill determined. The shape of these evolvedcluster system mass density profiles also agrees with the presentlyobserved profile of the Old Halo globular cluster system, thusstrengthening our hypothesis. Our result might suggest that theflattening shown by the Old Halo mass density profile at short distancesfrom the Galactic centre is, at least partly, of primordial origin.
|Age and Metallicity Estimation of Globular Clusters from Strömgren Photometry|
We present a new technique for the determination of age and metallicityin composite stellar populations using Strömgren filters. Usingprincipal component (PC) analysis on multicolor models, we isolate therange of values necessary to uniquely determine age and metallicityeffects. The technique presented here can only be applied to old(τ>3 Gyr) stellar systems composed of simple stellar populations,such as globular clusters and elliptical galaxies. Calibration using newphotometry of 40 globular clusters with spectroscopic [Fe/H] values andmain-sequence-fitted ages links the PC values to the Strömgrencolors, for an accuracy of 0.2 dex in metallicity and 0.5 Gyr in age.
|Which Globular Clusters Contain Intermediate-Mass Black Holes?|
It has been assumed that intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) inglobular clusters can only reside in the most centrally concentratedclusters, with a so-called core-collapsed density profile. While thiswould be a natural guess, it is in fact wrong. We have followed theevolution of star clusters containing IMBHs with masses between125<=MBH<=1000 Msolar through detailedN-body simulations, and we find that a cluster with an IMBH, inprojection, appears to have a relatively large ``core'' with surfacebrightness only slightly rising toward the center. This makes it highlyunlikely that any of the ``core-collapsed'' clusters will harbor anIMBH. On the contrary, the places to look for an IMBH are those clustersthat can be fitted well by medium-concentration King models. Thevelocity dispersion of the visible stars in a globular cluster with anIMBH is nearly constant well inside the apparent core radius. For acluster of mass MC containing an IMBH of mass MBH,the influence of the IMBH becomes significant only at a fraction2.5MBH/MC of the half-mass radius, deep within thecore, where it will affect only a small number of stars. In conclusion,observational detection of an IMBH may be possible, but will bechallenging.
|Comparing the properties of local globular cluster systems: implications for the formation of the Galactic halo|
We investigate the hypothesis that some fraction of the globularclusters presently observed in the Galactic halo formed in externaldwarf galaxies. This is done by means of a detailed comparison betweenthe `old halo', `young halo' and `bulge/disc' subsystems defined by Zinnand the globular clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, SmallMagellanic Cloud, and Fornax and Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxies.We first use high-quality photometry from Hubble Space Telescope imagesto derive a complete set of uniform measurements of horizontal branch(HB) morphology in the external clusters. We also compile structural andmetallicity measurements for these objects and update the data base ofsuch measurements for the Galactic globular clusters, including newcalculations of HB morphology for 11 objects. Using these data togetherwith recent measurements of globular cluster kinematics and ages weexamine the characteristics of the three Galactic cluster subsystems.Each is quite distinct in terms of their spatial and age distributions,age-metallicity relationships, and typical orbital parameters, althoughwe observe some old halo clusters with ages and orbits more similar tothose of young halo objects. In addition, almost all of the Galacticglobular clusters with large core radii fall into the young halosubsystem, while the old halo and bulge/disc ensembles are characterizedby compact clusters. We demonstrate that the majority of the externalglobular clusters are essentially indistinguishable from the Galacticyoung halo objects in terms of HB morphology, but ~20-30 per cent ofexternal clusters have HB morphologies most similar to the Galactic oldhalo clusters. We further show that the external clusters have adistribution of core radii which very closely matches that for the younghalo objects. The old halo distribution of core radii can be very wellrepresented by a composite distribution formed from ~83-85 per cent ofobjects with structures typical of bulge/disc clusters, and ~15-17 percent of objects with structures typical of external clusters. Takentogether our results fully support the accretion hypothesis. We concludethat all 30 young halo clusters and 15-17 per cent of the old haloclusters (10-12 objects) are of external origin. Based on cluster numbercounts, we estimate that the Galaxy may have experienced approximatelyseven merger events with cluster-bearing dwarf-spheroidal-type galaxiesduring its lifetime, building up ~45-50 per cent of the mass of theGalactic stellar halo. Finally, we identify a number of old halo objectswhich have properties characteristic of accreted clusters. Several ofthe clusters associated with the recently proposed dwarf galaxy in CanisMajor fall into this category.
|The Globular Cluster System of the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy|
Prompted by the discovery of the accreted Canis Major dwarf galaxy andits associated globular cluster (GC) system, we investigate thecontribution of accreted GCs to the Galactic system. The Canis MajorGCs, and those associated with the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, exhibit arange of Galactocentric radii, prograde and retrograde motions, andhorizontal-branch morphologies, indicating that such properties are oflimited use in identifying accreted GCs. In contrast, we find that theage-metallicity relation (AMR) of these dwarf galaxies is distinct fromthat of the main Galactic GC distribution at intermediate-to-highmetallicities ([Fe/H]>~-1.3). The accretion of GCs with a distinctAMR would explain much of the apparent age spread in the Galactic GCsystem. The Canis Major and Sagittarius AMRs are similar to those ofother Local Group dwarf galaxies and are consistent with a simpleclosed-box chemical enrichment model-a further indication that these GCsformed outside of the Milky Way. The Canis Major GCs all havesmaller-than-average sizes for their Galactocentric distances, lendingfurther support to their origin outside of the Milky Way. Our findingssuggest that accretion of similar mass dwarfs does not appear to haveplayed a major role in building the stellar mass of the thick disk orbulge of the Milky Way.
|Halo Structure Shown by RR Lyrae Stars in the Anticenter Direction|
Newberg et al., Yanny et al., Ibata et al., Rocha-Pinto et al., andMartin et al. have reported overdensities of stars that form a ring witha galactocentric distance (Rgal) of <~18 kpc. Martin etal. and Frinchaboy et al. have found star clusters associated with theseoverdensities; Martin et al. found what seems to be the centraloverdensity in Canis Major, so we shall refer to it as the CMa ring. Thestars in the CMa ring have a small velocity dispersion and [Fe/H] ofabout -0.4 and -1.6, respectively. Zinn et al. found a small RR Lyraeoverdensity in the more populous southern arc of the CMa ring. We do notfind any overdensity of RR Lyrae stars in a 65 deg2 fieldthat covers a more tenuous part of the ring in the anticenter. Existingevidence suggests that the halo component of the CMa ring has ahorizontal-branch (HB) morphology that does not favor RR Lyrae stars;the evidence from the associated clusters suggests that it may be richerin blue HB stars. Our RR Lyrae sample in the anticenter contains threegroups (each containing three stars that have a high probability ofphysical association). These groups account for half of the RR Lyraestars with 17 kpc<=Rgal<=28 kpc in this field; all ofthese RR Lyrae stars are of Oosterhoff I type. It is suggested that theymay be globular cluster remnants.
|A dwarf galaxy remnant in Canis Major: the fossil of an in-plane accretion on to the Milky Way|
We present an analysis of the asymmetries in the population of GalacticM-giant stars present in the 2MASS All Sky catalogue. Severallarge-scale asymmetries are detected, the most significant of which is astrong elliptical-shaped stellar overdensity, close to the Galacticplane at (l= 240°, b=-8°), in the constellation of Canis Major.A small grouping of globular clusters (NGC 1851, 1904, 2298 and 2808),coincident in position and radial velocity, surround this structure, asdo a number of open clusters. The population of M-giant stars in thisoverdensity is similar in number to that in the core of the Sagittariusdwarf galaxy. We argue that this object is the likely dwarf galaxyprogenitor of the ring-like structure that has recently been found atthe edge of the Galactic disc. A numerical study of the tidal disruptionof an accreted dwarf galaxy is presented. The simulated debris fits theextant position, distance and velocity information on the Galactic`Ring', as well as that of the M-giant overdensities, suggesting thatall these structures are the consequence of a single accretion event.The disrupted dwarf galaxy stream orbits close to the Galactic plane,with a pericentre at approximately the solar circle, an orbitaleccentricity similar to that of stars in the Galactic thick disc, aswell as a vertical scaleheight similar to that of the thick disc. Thisfinding strongly suggests that the Canis Major dwarf galaxy is abuilding block of the Galactic thick disc, that the thick disc iscontinually growing, even up to the present time, and that thick discglobular clusters were accreted on to the Milky Way from dwarf galaxiesin co-planar orbits.
|Star Clusters in the Galactic Anticenter Stellar Structure and the Origin of Outer Old Open Clusters|
The Galactic anticenter stellar structure (GASS) has been identifiedwith excess surface densities of field stars in several large-area skysurveys and with an unusual, stringlike grouping of five globularclusters. At least two of these are diffuse, young ``transitional''clusters between open and globular types. Here we call attention to thefact that four younger open or transitional clusters extend thepreviously identified, stringlike cluster grouping, with at least onehaving a radial velocity consistent with the previously found GASSvelocity-longitude trend. All nine clusters lie close to a plane tipped17° to the Galactic plane. This planar orientation is used to foragefor additional potential cluster members in the inner Galaxy, and anumber are found along the same plane and stringlike sequence, includingalmost all 15 known outer, old open clusters. Tidal accretion of a dwarfsatellite galaxy on a low-inclination orbit-perhaps the GASSsystem-appears to be a plausible explanation for the origin of theouter, old open and transitional clusters of the Milky Way. We use theseclusters to explore the age-metallicity relation of the putativeaccreted GASS progenitor. Finally, we provide the first radial velocityof a star in the cluster BH 176 and discuss its implications.
|RR Lyrae variables in Galactic globular clusters. I. The observational scenario|
In this paper we revisit observational data concerning RR Lyrae stars inGalactic globular clusters, presenting frequency histograms offundamentalized periods for the 32 clusters having more than 12pulsators with well recognized period and pulsation mode. One finds thatthe range of fundamentalized periods covered by the variables in a givencluster remains fairly constant in varying the cluster metallicity allover the metallicity range spanned by the cluster sample, with the onlytwo exceptions given by M 15 and NGC 6441. We conclude that the width intemperature of the RR Lyrae instability strip appears largelyindependent of the cluster metallicity. At the same time, it appearsthat the fundamentalized periods are not affected by the predictedvariation of pulsators luminosity with metal abundance, indicating theoccurrence of a correlated variation in the pulsator mass. We discussmean periods in a selected sample of statistically significant ``RRrich" clusters with no less than 10 RRab and 5 RRc variables. One findsa clear evidence for the well known Oosterhoff dichotomy in the meanperiod of ab-type variables, together with a similarlyclear evidence for a constancy of the mean fundamentalized period in passing from Oosterhoff type II to type I clusters. Onthis basis, the origin of the Oosterhoff dichotomy is discussed,presenting evidence against a strong dependence of the RR Lyraeluminosity on the metal content. On the contrary, i) the continuity ofthe mean fundamentalized period, ii) the period frequency histograms inthe two prototypes M 3 (type I) and M 15 (type II), iii) the relativeabundance of first overtone pulsators, and iv) the observed differencebetween mean fundamental and fundamentalized periods, all agree in suggesting the dominant occurrence of avariation in the pulsation mode in a middle region of the instabilitystrip (the ``OR" zone), where variables of Oosterhoff type I and type IIclusters are pulsating in the fundamental or first overtone mode,respectively.
|Exploring Halo Substructure with Giant Stars: Spectroscopy of Stars in the Galactic Anticenter Stellar Structure|
To determine the nature of the recently discovered, ringlike stellarstructure at the Galactic anticenter, we have collected spectra of a setof presumed constituent M giants selected from the Two Micron All SkySurvey Point Source Catalog. Radial velocities have been obtained forstars spanning ~100°, exhibiting a trend in velocity with Galacticlongitude and an estimated dispersion of σv=20+/-4 kms-1. A mean metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.4+/-0.3 measured forthese stars combines with previous evidence from the literature tosuggest a population with a significant metallicity spread. In addition,a curious alignment of at least four globular clusters of lower meanmetallicity is noted to be spatially and kinematically consistent withthis stellar distribution. We interpret the M giant sample position andvelocity variation with Galactic longitude as suggestive of a satellitegalaxy currently undergoing tidal disruption in a noncircular, progradeorbit about the Milky Way.
|Globular Clusters as Candidates for Gravitational Lenses to Explain Quasar-Galaxy Associations|
We argue that globular clusters (GCs) are good candidates forgravitational lenses in explaining quasar-galaxy associations. Thecatalog of associations (Bukhmastova 2001) compiled from the LEDAcatalog of galaxies (Paturel 1997) and from the catalog of quasars(Veron-Cetty and Veron 1998) is used. Based on the new catalog, we showthat one might expect an increased number of GCs around irregulargalaxies of types 9 and 10 from the hypothesis that distant compactsources are gravitationally lensed by GCs in the halos of foregroundgalaxies. The King model is used to determine the central surfacedensities of 135 GCs in the Milky Way. The distribution of GCs incentral surface density was found to be lognormal.
|A Globular Cluster Metallicity Scale Based on the Abundance of Fe II|
Assuming that in the atmospheres of low-mass, metal-poor red giantstars, one-dimensional models based on local thermodynamic equilibriumaccurately predict the abundance of iron from Fe II, we derive aglobular cluster metallicity scale based on the equivalent widths of FeII lines measured from high-resolution spectra of giants in 16 keyclusters lying in the abundance range-2.4<[Fe/H]II<-0.7. We base the scale largely on theanalysis of spectra of 149 giant stars in 11 clusters by the Lick-Texasgroup supplemented by high-resolution studies of giants in five otherclusters. We also derive ab initio the true distance moduli for certainkey clusters (M5, M3, M13, M92, and M15) as a means of setting stellarsurface gravities. Allowances are made for changes in the abundancescale if one employs (1) Kurucz models with and without convectiveovershooting to represent giant star atmospheres in place of MARCSmodels and (2) the Houdashelt et al. color-temperature scale in place ofthe Alonso et al. scale.We find that [Fe/H]II is correlated linearly withW', the reduced strength of the near-infrared Ca II tripletdefined by Rutledge et al., although the actual correlation coefficientsdepend on the atmospheric model employed. The correlations, limited tothe range -2.4<[Fe/H]II<-0.7, are as follows:1.[Fe/H]II=0.531W'-3.279(MARCS),2.[Fe/H]II=0.537W'-3.225 (Kurucz withconvective overshooting),3.[Fe/H]II=0.562W'-3.329 (Kurucz withoutconvective overshooting).We also discuss how to estimate [X/Fe] ratios. We suggest that C, N, andO, as well as elements appearing in the spectrum in the singly ionizedstate, e.g., Ti, Sc, Ba, La, and Eu, should be normalized to theabundance of Fe II. Other elements, which appear mostly in the neutralstate, but for which the dominant species is nevertheless the ionizedstate, are probably best normalized to Fe I, but uncertainties remain.
|Global metallicity of globular cluster stars from colour-magnitude diagrams|
We have developed an homogeneous evolutionary scenario for H- andHe-burning low-mass stars by computing updated stellar models for a widemetallicity and age range [0.0002<=Z<=0.004 and9<=t(Gyr)<=15, respectively] suitable to study globular clusters.This theoretical scenario allows us to provide self-consistentpredictions about the dependence of selected observational features ofthe colour-magnitude diagram, such as the brightness of the turn-off(TO), the zero-age horizontal branch (ZAHB) and the red giant branchbump (BUMP), on the cluster metallicity and age. Taking into accountthese predictions, we introduce a new observable based on the visualmagnitude difference between the TO and the ZAHB[ΔMV(TO-ZAHB)], and the TO and the BUMP[ΔMV(TO-BUMP)], given byA=ΔMV(TO-BUMP)-0.566ΔMV(TO-ZAHB). Weshow that the parameter A does not depend at all on the cluster age, butthat it does strongly depend on the cluster global metallicity. Thecalibration of the parameter A as a function of Z is then provided, asbased on our evolutionary models. We tested the reliability of thisresult by also considering stellar models computed by other authors,employing different input physics. Eventually, we present clear evidencethat the variation of ΔMV(TO-BUMP) withΔMV(TO-ZAHB) does supply a powerful probe of the globalmetal abundance, at least when homogeneous theoretical frameworks areadopted. Specifically, we show that the extensive set of models byVanden Berg et al. suggests a slightly different calibration of A versusZ calibration, which however provides global metallicities higher byonly 0.08+/-0.06dex with respect to the results from our computations.We provide an estimate of the global metallicity of 36 globular clustersin the Milky Way, based on our A-Z calibration, and a largeobservational data base of Galactic globular clusters. By consideringthe empirical [Fe/H] scales by both Zinn & West and Carretta &Gratton, we are able to provide an estimate of the α-elementenhancement for all clusters in our sample. We show that the trend of[α/Fe] with respect to the iron content significantly depends onthe adopted empirical [Fe/H] scale, with the Zinn & West onesuggesting α-element enhancements in fine agreement with currentspectroscopic measurements.
|On the Distribution of Orbital Poles of Milky Way Satellites|
In numerous studies of the outer Galactic halo some evidence foraccretion has been found. If the outer halo did form in part or whollythrough merger events, we might expect to find coherent streams of starsand globular clusters following orbits similar to those of their parentobjects, which are assumed to be present or former Milky Way dwarfsatellite galaxies. We present a study of this phenomenon by assessingthe likelihood of potential descendant ``dynamical families'' in theouter halo. We conduct two analyses: one that involves a statisticalanalysis of the spatial distribution of all known Galactic dwarfsatellite galaxies (DSGs) and globular clusters, and a second, morespecific analysis of those globular clusters and DSGs for which fullphase space dynamical data exist. In both cases our methodology isappropriate only to members of descendant dynamical families that retainnearly aligned orbital poles today. Since the Sagittarius dwarf (Sgr) isconsidered a paradigm for the type of merger/tidal interaction event forwhich we are searching, we also undertake a case study of the Sgr systemand identify several globular clusters that may be members of itsextended dynamical family. In our first analysis, the distribution ofpossible orbital poles for the entire sample of outer(Rgc>8 kpc) halo globular clusters is tested forstatistically significant associations among globular clusters and DSGs.Our methodology for identifying possible associations is similar to thatused by Lynden-Bell & Lynden-Bell, but we put the associations on amore statistical foundation. Moreover, we study the degree of possibledynamical clustering among various interesting ensembles of globularclusters and satellite galaxies. Among the ensembles studied, we findthe globular cluster subpopulation with the highest statisticallikelihood of association with one or more of the Galactic DSGs to bethe distant, outer halo (Rgc>25 kpc), second-parameterglobular clusters. The results of our orbital pole analysis aresupported by the great circle cell count methodology of Johnston,Hernquist, & Bolte. The space motions of the clusters Pal 4, NGC6229, NGC 7006, and Pyxis are predicted to be among those most likely toshow the clusters to be following stream orbits, since these clustersare responsible for the majority of the statistical significance of theassociation between outer halo, second-parameter globular clusters andthe Milky Way DSGs. In our second analysis, we study the orbits of the41 globular clusters and six Milky Way-bound DSGs having measured propermotions to look for objects with both coplanar orbits and similarangular momenta. Unfortunately, the majority of globular clusters withmeasured proper motions are inner halo clusters that are less likely toretain memory of their original orbit. Although four potential globularcluster/DSG associations are found, we believe three of theseassociations involving inner halo clusters to be coincidental. While thepresent sample of objects with complete dynamical data is small and doesnot include many of the globular clusters that are more likely to havebeen captured by the Milky Way, the methodology we adopt will becomeincreasingly powerful as more proper motions are measured for distantGalactic satellites and globular clusters, and especially as resultsfrom the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) become available.
|Variable Stars in Galactic Globular Clusters|
Based on a search of the literature up to 2001 May, the number of knownvariable stars in Galactic globular clusters is approximately 3000. Ofthese, more than 2200 have known periods and the majority (approximately1800) are of the RR Lyrae type. In addition to the RR Lyrae population,there are approximately 100 eclipsing binaries, 120 SX Phoenicisvariables, 60 Cepheids (including Population II Cepheids, anomalousCepheids and RV Tauri), and 120 SR/red variables. The mean period of thefundamental mode RR Lyrae variables is 0.585 days, for the overtonevariables it is 0.342 days (0.349 days for the first-overtone pulsatorsand 0.296 days for the second-overtone pulsators) and approximately 30%are overtone pulsators. These numbers indicate that about 65% of RRLyrae variables in Galactic globular clusters belong to Oosterhoff typeI systems. The mean period of the RR Lyrae variables in the Oosterhofftype I clusters seems to be correlated with metal abundance in the sensethat the periods are longer in the more metal poor clusters. Such acorrelation does not exist for the Oosterhoff type II clusters. Most ofthe Cepheids are in clusters with blue horizontal branches.
|Do Globular Clusters Harbor Black Holes?|
It has been firmly established that there exists a tight correlationbetween the mass of the central black hole and velocity dispersion (orluminosity) in elliptical galaxies, ``pseudobulges'' and bulges ofgalaxies, although the nature of this correlation still remains unclear.We explore the possibility of extrapolating such a correlation to lessmassive, spherical systems like globular clusters. In particular,motivated by the apparent success in the globular cluster M15, wepresent an estimate of the central black hole mass for a number ofglobular clusters with available velocity dispersion data.
|Ages and Metallicities of Fornax Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies|
Narrowband photometry is presented on 27 dwarf ellipticals in the Fornaxcluster. Calibrated with Galactic globular cluster data andspectrophotometric population models, the colors indicated that dwarfellipticals have a mean [Fe/H] of -1.00+/-0.28 ranging from -1.6 to-0.4. The mean age of dwarf ellipticals, also determinedphotometrically, is estimated at 10+/-1 Gyr compared with 13 Gyr forbright Fornax ellipticals. Comparison of our metallicity color andMg2 indices demonstrates that the [Mg/Fe] ratio is lower indwarf ellipticals than their more massive cousins, which is consistentwith a longer duration of initial star formation to explain theiryounger ages. There is a increase in dwarf metallicity with distancefrom the Fornax cluster center, where core galaxies are on average 0.5dex more metal-poor than halo dwarfs. In addition, we find the halodwarfs are younger in mean age compared with core dwarfs. One possibleexplanation is that the intracluster medium ram pressure strips the gasfrom dwarf ellipticals, halting star formation (old age) and stoppingenrichment (low metallicity) as they enter the core.
|A census with ROSAT of low-luminosity X-ray sources in globular clusters|
I analyze 101 observations from the ROSAT archive to search for X-raysources in or near 55 globular clusters. New sources are found in thecores of NGC 362 (a double source), NGC 6121 (marginally significant),NGC 6139, and NGC 6266; and outside the cores of NGC 6205, NGC 6352 andNGC 6388. More accurate positions are determined for the X-ray sourcesin some ten clusters. The improved position for the source in NGC 6341excludes the suggested ultraviolet counterpart. It is shown that one ofthe two sources reported near the core of NGC 6626 is spurious, as isthe detection of a pulsar period in the PSPC data of this cluster; thecentral source is resolved in three sources. One source reportedpreviously in NGC 6304 is demoted to an upper limit. For 20 clustercores better upper limits to the X-ray luminosity are obtained. From astatistical analysis I argue that several sources outside the clustercores may well belong to the clusters. All spectral energy distributionsobserved so far are relatively soft, with bremsstrahlung temperatures =~0.9 keV; there is evidence however that bremsstrahlung spectra do notcorrectly describe the spectra. The X-ray luminosity per unit mass forthe cluster as a whole does not depend on the concentration; theluminosity per unit mass for the core may increase with the clusterconcentration.
|Globular Cluster Subsystems in the Galaxy|
Data from the literature are used to construct a homogeneous catalog offundamental astrophysical parameters for 145 globular clusters of theMilky Way Galaxy. The catalog is used to analyze the relationshipsbetween chemical composition, horizontal-branch morphology, spatiallocation, orbital elements, age, and other physical parameters of theclusters. The overall globular-cluster population is divided by a gap inthe metallicity function at [Fe/H]=-1.0 into two discrete groups withwell-defined maxima at [Fe/H]=-1.60±0.03 and -0.60±0.04.The mean spatial-kinematic parameters and their dispersions changeabruptly when the metallicity crosses this boundary. Metal-poor clustersoccupy a more or less spherical region and are concentrated toward theGalactic center. Metal-rich clusters (the thick disk subsystem), whichare far fewer in number, are concentrated toward both the Galacticcenter and the Galactic plane. This subsystem rotates with an averagevelocity of V rot=165±28 km/s and has a very steep negativevertical metallicity gradient and a negligible radial gradient. It is,on average, the youngest group, and consists exclusively of clusterswith extremely red horizontal branches. The population ofspherical-subsystem clusters is also inhomogeneous and, in turn, breaksup into at least two groups according to horizontal-branch morphology.Clusters with extremely blue horizontal branches occupy a sphericalvolume of radius 9 kpc, have high rotational velocities (Vrot=77±33 km/s), have substantial and equal negative radial andvertical metallicity gradients, and are, on average, the oldest group(the old-halo subsystem). The vast majority of clusters withintermediate-type horizontal branches occupy a more or less sphericalvolume ≈18 kpc in radius, which is slightly flattened perpendicularto the Z direction and makes an angle of ≈30° to the X-axis. Onaverage, this population is somewhat younger than the old-halo clusters(the young-halo subsystem), and exhibits approximately the samemetallicity gradients as the old halo. As a result, since theirGalactocentric distance and distance from the Galactic plane are thesame, the young-halo clusters have metallicities that are, on average,Δ[Fe/H] ≈0.3 higher than those for old-halo clusters. Theyoung-halo subsystem, which apparently consists of objects captured bythe Galaxy at various times, contains many clusters with retrogradeorbits, so that its rotational velocity is low and has large errors, Vrot=-23±54 km/s. Typical parameters are derived for all thesubsystems, and the mean characteristics of their member globularclusters are determined. The thick disk has a different nature than boththe old and young halos. A scenario for Galactic evolution is proposedbased on the assumption that only the thick-disk and old-halo subsystemsare genetically associated with the Galaxy. The age distributions ofthese two subsystems do not overlap. It is argued that heavy-elementenrichment and the collapse of the proto-Galactic medium occurred mainlyin the period between the formation of the old-halo and thick-disksubsystems.
|Foreground and background dust in star cluster directions|
This paper compares reddening values E(B-V) derived from the stellarcontent of 103 old open clusters and 147 globular clusters of the MilkyWay with those derived from DIRBE/IRAS 100 mu m dust emission in thesame directions. Star clusters at |b|> 20deg showcomparable reddening values between the two methods, in agreement withthe fact that most of them are located beyond the disk dust layer. Forvery low galactic latitude lines of sight, differences occur in thesense that DIRBE/IRAS reddening values can be substantially larger,suggesting effects due to the depth distribution of the dust. Thedifferences appear to arise from dust in the background of the clustersconsistent with a dust layer where important extinction occurs up todistances from the Plane of ~ 300 pc. For 3 % of the sample asignificant background dust contribution might be explained by higherdust clouds. We find evidence that the Milky Way dust lane and higherdust clouds are similar to those of several edge-on spiral galaxiesrecently studied in detail by means of CCD imaging.
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