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Globular Clusters in nearby Galaxy Clusters

By Michael Hilker


Abstract. The discovery of a large population of intra-cluster star clusters in the central region of the Hydra I and Centaurus galaxy clusters is presented. Based on deep VLT photometry (V, I), many star clusters have been identified not only around the early-type galaxies, but also in the intra-cluster field, as far as 250 kpc from the galaxy centres. These intra-cluster globulars are predominantly blue, with a siginificant fraction being even bluer than the metal-poor halo clusters around massive galaxies. When interpreted as a metallicity effect they would have iron abundances around [Fe/H] ≃ −2 dex. However, they might also be relatively young clusters which could have formed in tidal tails during recent interactions of the central galaxies.

Year: 2002
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