Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 489, 4367-4377 (2019/November-1)
Characteristic radii of the Milky Way globular clusters.
PIATTI A.E., WEBB J.J. and CARLBERG R.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report on the extent of the effects of the Milky Way gravitational field in shaping the structural parameters and internal dynamics of its globular cluster population. We make use of a homogeneous, up-to-date data set with kinematics, structural properties, current and initial masses of 156 globular clusters. In general, cluster radii increase as the Milky Way potential weakens; with the core and Jacobi radii being those which increase at the slowest and fastest rate, respectively. We interpret this result as the innermost regions of globular clusters being less sensitive to changes in the tidal forces with the Galactocentric distance. The Milky Way gravitational field also seems to have differentially accelerated the internal dynamical evolution of individual clusters, with those toward the bulge appearing dynamically older. Finally, we find a subpopulation consisting of both compact and extended globular clusters (as defined by their rh/rJ ratio) beyond 8 kpc that appear to have lost a large fraction of their initial mass lost via disruption. Moreover, we identify a third group with rh/rJ > 0.4, which have lost an even larger fraction of their initial mass by disruption. In both cases the high fraction of mass lost is likely due to their large orbital eccentricities and inclination angles, which lead to them experiencing more tidal shocks at perigalacticon and during disc crossings. Comparing the structural and orbital parameters of individual clusters allows for constraints to be placed on whether or not their evolution was relaxation or tidally dominated.
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
globular clusters: general - Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics - Galaxy: structure
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