Structural Parameters for Globular Clusters in NGC 5128 Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We present new imaging measurements of 27 individual globular clusters in the halo of the nearby elliptical galaxy NGC 5128, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope STIS and WFPC2 cameras. Combining these with similar data for selected inner-halo clusters from Holland et al. 1999 (AAp, 348, 418), we now have a total sample of 43 NGC 5128 globular clusters with measured structural properties. Classic King-model profiles match the clusters extremely well, and their core- and half-light radii, central surface brightness, and central concentration fall in very much the same range as do the clusters in the Milky Way and M31. We find half a dozen bright clusters which show tentative evidence for light that extends beyond the nominal tidal radius, or possibly ones in which anisotropic velocity distributions are important. We also confirm previous indications that NGC 5128 contains relatively more clusters with large (> 0.2) ellipticity than does the Milky Way. Finally, calculations of the cluster binding energies E_b as defined by McLaughlin 2000 (ApJ, 539,618) show that the NGC 5128 clusters occupy the same extremely narrow region of the parametric ``fundamental plane'' as do their Milky Way counterparts. Our data are thus strongly consistent with the claim that the globular clusters in both NGC 5128 and the Milky Way are fundamentally the same type of object: old star clusters with similar mass-to-light ratios and King-model structures.

publication date

  • September 2002