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Detecting metal-rich intermediate-age globular clusters in NGC4570 using K-band photometry

By R. Kotulla, U. Fritze and P. Anders


Globular cluster systems (GCSs) of most early-type galaxies feature two peaks in their optical colour distributions. Blue-peak globular clusters (GCs) are believed to be old and metal-poor, whereas the ages, metallicities, and the origin of the red-peak GCs are still being debated. We obtained deep K-band photometry and combined it with Hubble Space Telescope observations in g and z to yield a full spectral energy distribution from the optical to the near-infrared. This now allows us to break the age–metallicity degeneracy. We used our evolutionary synthesis models galev for star clusters to compute a large grid of models with different metallicities and a wide range of ages. Comparing these models to our observations revealed a large population of intermediate-age (1–3 Gyr) and metal-rich (≈solar-metallicity) GCs, that will give us further insights into the formation history of this galaxy

Year: 2009
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