Spatial distribution of stars around six metal-poor globular clusters in the Galactic bulge

Cho Rhong Chang, Jae Woo Kim, Noriyuki Matsunaga, Mihwa Han, Jongwan Ko, Sang Hyun Chun, Minhee Kang, Young Jong Sohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wide-field JHKs images obtained with the SIRIUS near-infrared camera of the IRSF 1.4m telescope are used to examine the tidal structures of the spatial stellar configuration around six metal-poor ([Fe/H]<-1.0) globular clusters located within 3 kpc from the Galactic center. The radial surface density profiles are obtained from the surface photometry of the cluster images and the star counting for the photometric data. For the star counting, candidates of cluster member stars are selected with an filtering algorithm in color-magnitude diagrams. We find that the six target clusters show tidal overdensity features in the radial surface density profiles. There is a break inside the tidal radius for each cluster, and the profile in the outer overdensity region is characterized by a power law. Two-dimensional density maps of all the clusters show distorted asymmetric stellar configurations in the outer region. In five out of the six target clusters, the overdensity features are likely to be associated with the effects of the Galaxy dynamical interaction and the cluster space motions. The observed tidal configurations of stars suggest that several metal-poor clusters in the Galactic bulge are possibly surviving remnants of mergers to build the old stellar system of the Galactic bulge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-224
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Korean Astronomical Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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