Detection of the Stellar Intracluster Medium in Perseus (Abell 426) Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Hubble Space Telescope photometry from the ACS/WFC and WFPC2 cameras is used to detect and measure globular clusters (GCs) in the central region of the rich Perseus cluster of galaxies. A detectable population of Intragalactic GCs is found extending out to at least 500 kpc from the cluster center. These objects display luminosity and color (metallicity) distributions that are entirely normal for GC populations. Extrapolating from the limited spatial coverage of the HST fields, we estimate very roughly that the entire Perseus cluster should contain ~50000 or more IGCs, but a targetted wide-field survey will be needed for a more definitive answer. Separate brief results are presented for the rich GC systems in NGC 1272 and NGC 1275, the two largest Perseus ellipticals. For NGC 1272 we find a specific frequency S_N = 8, while for the central giant NGC 1275, S_N ~ 12. In both these giant galaxies, the GC colors are well matched by bimodal distributions, with the majority in the blue (metal-poor) component. This preliminary study suggests that Perseus is a prime target for a more comprehensive deep imaging survey of Intragalactic GCs.

publication date

  • April 20, 2017