A new explanation of globular cluster color distributions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The colors of globular clusters (GCs) in most large early-type galaxies are bimodal. This is generally taken as evidence for the presence of two GC subpopulations that have different geneses. However we show that, because of an inflection along the metallicity-color relation, a coeval group of old (>10 Gyr) GCs can exhibit bimodal color distributions even when the intrinsic metallicity distribution is unimodal. The inflection is a result of two complementary effects: (i) the integrated color of main-sequence and giant-branch is a mild non-linear function of metallicity, and (ii) the rapid change in color due to the onset of the hot horizontal-branch further strengthens the non-linearity. We demonstrate that the hypothesis gives remarkably simple and cohesive explanations for all the key observations, including the close link of the GC color distributions to the host galaxy properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobular Clusters - Guides to Galaxies
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Joint ESO-FONDAP Workshop on Globular Clusters
EditorsTom Richtler, Soren Larsen
Pages367-371
Number of pages5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1

Publication series

NameESO Astrophysics Symposia
Volume2009
ISSN (Print)1431-2433
ISSN (Electronic)1611-6143

Fingerprint

globular clusters
color
metallicity
galaxies
nonlinearity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Yoon, S. J., Yi, S. K., & Lee, Y. W. (2009). A new explanation of globular cluster color distributions. In T. Richtler, & S. Larsen (Eds.), Globular Clusters - Guides to Galaxies: Proceedings of the Joint ESO-FONDAP Workshop on Globular Clusters (pp. 367-371). (ESO Astrophysics Symposia; Vol. 2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-76961-3_84
Yoon, Suk Jin ; Yi, Sukyoung Ken ; Lee, Young Wook. / A new explanation of globular cluster color distributions. Globular Clusters - Guides to Galaxies: Proceedings of the Joint ESO-FONDAP Workshop on Globular Clusters. editor / Tom Richtler ; Soren Larsen. 2009. pp. 367-371 (ESO Astrophysics Symposia).
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Yoon, SJ, Yi, SK & Lee, YW 2009, A new explanation of globular cluster color distributions. in T Richtler & S Larsen (eds), Globular Clusters - Guides to Galaxies: Proceedings of the Joint ESO-FONDAP Workshop on Globular Clusters. ESO Astrophysics Symposia, vol. 2009, pp. 367-371. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-76961-3_84

A new explanation of globular cluster color distributions. / Yoon, Suk Jin; Yi, Sukyoung Ken; Lee, Young Wook.

Globular Clusters - Guides to Galaxies: Proceedings of the Joint ESO-FONDAP Workshop on Globular Clusters. ed. / Tom Richtler; Soren Larsen. 2009. p. 367-371 (ESO Astrophysics Symposia; Vol. 2009).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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N2 - The colors of globular clusters (GCs) in most large early-type galaxies are bimodal. This is generally taken as evidence for the presence of two GC subpopulations that have different geneses. However we show that, because of an inflection along the metallicity-color relation, a coeval group of old (>10 Gyr) GCs can exhibit bimodal color distributions even when the intrinsic metallicity distribution is unimodal. The inflection is a result of two complementary effects: (i) the integrated color of main-sequence and giant-branch is a mild non-linear function of metallicity, and (ii) the rapid change in color due to the onset of the hot horizontal-branch further strengthens the non-linearity. We demonstrate that the hypothesis gives remarkably simple and cohesive explanations for all the key observations, including the close link of the GC color distributions to the host galaxy properties.

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Yoon SJ, Yi SK, Lee YW. A new explanation of globular cluster color distributions. In Richtler T, Larsen S, editors, Globular Clusters - Guides to Galaxies: Proceedings of the Joint ESO-FONDAP Workshop on Globular Clusters. 2009. p. 367-371. (ESO Astrophysics Symposia). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-76961-3_84