Astrophys. J., 639, 95-119 (2006/March-1)
The ACS Virgo cluster survey. IX. The color distributions of globular cluster systems in early-type galaxies.
PENG E.W., JORDAN A., COTE P., BLAKESLEE J.P., FERRARESE L., MEI S., WEST M.J., MERRITT D., MILOSAVLJEVIC M. and TONRY J.L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the color distributions of globular cluster (GC) systems for 100 early-type galaxies observed in the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey, the deepest and most homogeneous survey of this kind to date. On average, galaxies at all luminosities in our study (-22<MB←15) appear to have bimodal or asymmetric GC color distributions. Almost all galaxies possess a component of metal-poor GCs, with the average fraction of metal-rich GCs ranging from 15% to 60% and increasing with luminosity. The colors of both subpopulations correlate with host galaxy luminosity and color, with the red GCs having a steeper slope. To convert color to metallicity, we introduce a preliminary (g-z)-[Fe/H] relation calibrated to Galactic, M49, and M87 GCs. This relation is nonlinear, with a steeper slope for [Fe/H]≲-0.8. As a result, the metallicities of the metal-poor and metal-rich GCs vary similarly with respect to galaxy luminosity and stellar mass, with relations of [Fe/H]MP∝L0.16±0.04∝M0.17±0.04* and [Fe/H]MR∝L0.26±0.03∝M0.22±0.03*, respectively. Although these relations are shallower than the mass-metallicity relation predicted by wind models and observed for dwarf galaxies, they are very similar to the relation observed for star-forming galaxies in the same mass range. The offset between the two GC populations is approximately 1 dex across 3 orders of magnitude in mass, suggesting a nearly universal amount of enrichment between the formation of the two populations of GCs. We also find that although the metal-rich GCs show a larger dispersion in color, it is the metal-poor GCs that have an equal or larger dispersion in metallicity. The similarity in the M*-[Fe/H] relations for the two populations implies that the conditions of GC formation for metal-poor and metal-rich GCs could not have been too different. Like the color-magnitude relation, these relations derived from globular clusters present stringent constraints on the formation and evolution of early-type galaxies.
Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: Evolution - Galaxies: Star Clusters - Galaxy: Globular Clusters: General
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