The Celestial Buffet: multiple populations and globular cluster formation in dwarf galaxies Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We present a framework that explains the commonly observed variation in light element abundances in globular clusters. If globular clusters form in the centres of dwarf galaxies, they will be pumped onto larger orbits as star formation progresses. The potential well will only retain the moderate velocity AGB ejecta, the expected source of enrichment, but not supernova ejecta. There is no need to increase the initial cluster mass, a requirement of self-enrichment scenarios, as all the stars within the dwarf can contribute. As the clusters move through the dwarf centre they sweep up a mix of AGB ejecta and in-falling pristine gas to form a second generation of stars. The specific mix will vary in time and is thus able to explain the spread in second generation abundances observed in different clusters. The globular clusters will survive to the present day or be stripped as part of the hierarchical merging process of larger galaxies. We illustrate how this process may operate using a high-resolution simulation of a dwarf galaxy at high redshift.

publication date

  • April 1, 2014