13,199 research outputs found

    The Self-Enrichment of Galactic Halo Globular Clusters: the mass-metallicity relation

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    We discuss the existence of a mass-metallicity relation among galactic halo globular clusters. The lack of any luminosity-metallicity correlation in globular cluster systems has been used as an argument against self-enrichment models of cluster formation. We show that such a relation is statistically present among the galactic Old Halo globulars. This observational correlation implies that the least massive old clusters are the most metal-rich. This is in contradiction with the idea that, if globular clusters were self-enriched systems, the most metal-rich clusters would also be the most massive ones. We further show that this anti-correlation is as predicted by self-enrichment models.Comment: 5 pages, accepted for publication in A&

    Chemical evolution of the M82 B fossil starburst

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    M82 B is an old starburst site located in the eastern part of the M82 disc. We derive the distributions of age and metallicity of the star clusters located in this region of M82 by using theoretical evolutionary population synthesis models. Our analysis is based on the comparison of the BVIJBVIJ photometry obtained by de Grijs et al. (2001) with the colours of single-generation stellar populations. We show that M82 B went through a chemical enrichment phase up to super-solar metallicities around the time of the last close encounter between M82 and its large neighbour galaxy M81. We date and confirm the event triggering the enhanced cluster formation at about 1 Gyr ago. At almost the same time an additional, distinct subpopulation of metal-poor clusters formed in the part of M82 B nearest to the galactic centre. The formation of these peculiar clusters may be related to infall of circumgalactic gas onto M82 B.Comment: 14 pages, accepted for publication in MNRA

    A near-infrared and optical photometric study of the Sculptor dwarf spheroidal galaxy: implications for the metallicity spread

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    We present here a detailed study of the Sculptor dSph galaxy red giant branch (RGB) and horizontal branch (HB) morphology, combining new near-infrared photometry from CIRSI, with optical data from the ESO WFI. For a Sculptor-like old and generally metal-poor system, the position of RGB stars on the colour-magnitude diagram is mainly metallicity dependent. The advantage of using optical-NIR colours is that the position of the RGB locus is much more sensitive to metallicity than with optical colours alone. In contrast the horizontal branch (HB) morphology is strongly dependent on both metallicity and age. Therefore a detailed study of both the RGB in optical-NIR colours and the HB can help break the age-metallicity degeneracy. Our measured photometric width of the Sculptor giant branch corresponds to a range in metallicity of 0.75 dex. We detect the RGB and AGB bumps in both the NIR and optical luminosity functions, and derive from them a mean metallicity of [M/H] = -1.3 +/- 0.1. From isochrone fitting we derive a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] = -1.42 with a dispersion of 0.2 dex. These photometric estimators are for the first time consistent with individual metallicity measurements derived from spectroscopic observations. No spatial gradient is detected in the RGB morphology within a radius of 13 arcmin, twice the core radius. On the other hand, a significant gradient is observed in the HB morphology index, confirming the `second parameter problem' present in this galaxy. These observations are consistent with an early extended period of star formation continuing in time for a few Gyr. (Abridged)Comment: 9 pages, 10 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRA

    Stellar Populations with ELTs

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    The star formation, mass assembly and chemical enrichment histories of galaxies, and their present distributions of dark matter, remain encoded in their stellar populations. Distinguishing the actual distribution functions of stellar age, metallicity and kinematics at several locations in a range of galaxies, sampling across Hubble types and representative environments, is the information required for a robust description of galaxy histories. Achieving this requires large aperture, to provide the sensitivity to reach a range of environs and Hubble types beyond the Local Group, to provide high spatial resolution, since the fields are crowded, and preferably with optical performance since age-sensitivity is greatest near the main-sequence turn-off, and metallicity-sensitivity for these warm stars is greatest in the optical.Comment: IAU Symposium No. 232, eds P. Whitelock, B. Leidundgeit & M. Dennefel
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