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Globular Cluster Subpopulations in Early-Type Galaxies: Insights into Galaxy Formation

  • Jean P. Brodie (a1)

Abstract

New and archival HST images of the globular cluster systems of 17 relatively nearby galaxies and 6 more distant galaxies have been used to establish the characteristics of GC subpopulations over a range of host galaxy morphological type from E5 to Sa. GC color/metallicity, size and luminosity distributions have been examined in the nearby galaxies and color distributions have been determined for the more distant sample. Correlations with parent galaxy properties and trends with galactocentric radius have been explored. Supplemented with Keck spectroscopy, our results are best explained by an in situ formation scenario in which both GC subpopulations formed at early times within the potential well of the protogalaxy, in multiple episodes of star formation. We have also discovered a third population of clusters, fundamentally distinct from the compact red and blue clusters common in early type galaxies.

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References

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Globular Cluster Subpopulations in Early-Type Galaxies: Insights into Galaxy Formation

  • Jean P. Brodie (a1)

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