CHEMODYNAMICS OF COMPACT STELLAR SYSTEMS IN NGC 5128: HOW SIMILAR ARE GLOBULAR CLUSTERS, ULTRA-COMPACT DWARFS, AND DWARF GALAXIES? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Velocity dispersion measurements are presented for luminous GCs in NGC 5128 derived from high-res. UVES spectra. The measurements are made with the pPXF code that parametrically recovers line-of-sight velocity dispersions. Combining the measured velocity dispersions with surface photometry and structural parameter data from HST enables both dynamical masses and M/L ratios to be derived. The fundamental plane relations of these clusters are investigated in order to fill the apparent gap between the relations of Local Group GCs and more massive early-type galaxies. It is found that the properties of these massive stellar systems match those of nuclear clusters in dwarf elliptical galaxies and UCDs better than those of Local Group GCs, and that all objects share similarly old (>8 Gyr) ages, suggesting a possible link between the formation and evolution of dE,Ns, UCDs and massive GCs. We find a very steep correlation between dynamical (M/L) ratio and dynamical mass of the form (M/L)_dyn ~ M_dyn^(0.24+/-0.02) above M_dyn = 2x10^6 Msol. Formation scenarios are investigated with a chemical abundance analysis using absorption line strengths calibrated to the Lick/IDS index system. The results lend support to two scenarios contained within a single general formation scheme. Old, massive, super-solar [alpha/Fe] systems are formed on short (<100 Myr) timescales through the merging of single-collapse GCs which themselves are formed within single, giant molecular clouds. More intermediate- and old-aged (~3-10 Gyr), solar- to sub-solar [alpha/Fe] systems are formed on much longer (~Gyr) timescales through the stripping of dE,Ns in the 10^13-10^15 Msol potential wells of massive galaxies and galaxy clusters.

authors

  • Taylor, Matthew A
  • Puzia, Thomas H
  • Harris, Gretchen L
  • Harris, William Edgar
  • Kissler-Patig, Markus
  • Hilker, Michael

publication date

  • April 1, 2010