Home List of Titles The connection between globular cluster systems and their host galaxy and environment: a case study of the isolated elliptical NGC 821
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- The connection between globular cluster systems and their host galaxy and environment: a case study of the isolated elliptical NGC 821
- Spitler, Lee R.; Forbes, Duncan A.; Strader, Jay; Brodie, Jean P.; Gallagher, Jay S.
- In an effort to probe the globular cluster (GC) system of an isolated elliptical galaxy, a comprehensive analysis of the NGC 821 GC system was performed. New imaging from the WIYN Mini-Mosaic imager, supplemented with Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2 images reveals a GC system similar to those found in counterpart ellipticals located in high-density environments. To put these results into the context of galaxy formation, a robustly determined census of GC systems is presented and analysed for galaxies spanning a wide range of masses (> M*), morphologies and environments. Results from this meta-study: (1) confirm previous findings that the number of GCs normalized by host galaxy stellar mass increases with host stellar mass. Spiral galaxies in the sample show smaller relative GC numbers than those of massive ellipticals, suggesting the GC systems of massive ellipticals were not formed from major spiral–spiral mergers; (2) indicate that GC system numbers per unit galaxy baryon mass increases with host baryon mass and that GC formation efficiency may not be universal as previously thought; (3) suggest previously reported trends with environment may be incorrect due to sample bias or the use of galaxy stellar masses to normalize GC numbers. Thus claims for environmentally dependent GC formation efficiencies should be revisited; (4) in combination with weak-lensing halo mass estimates, suggest that GCs formed in direct proportion to the halo mass; (5) are consistent with theoretical predictions whereby the local epoch of reionization did not vary significantly with environment or host galaxy type.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies. Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 385, no. 1 (Feb 2008), p. 361-380
- Publication year
- cD; Early universe; Elliptical galaxies; Galaxy evolution; Galaxy formation; GCs; Globular clusters; Lenticular galaxies; NGC 821; Star clusters
- Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2008 Royal Astronomical Society. Author's final draft reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
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- Peer reviewed