The effect of second-generation populations on the integrated colors of metal-rich globular clusters in early-type galaxies

Chul Chung, Sang Yoon Lee, Suk Jin Yoon, Young Wook Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mean color of globular clusters (GCs) in early-type galaxies is in general bluer than the integrated color of halo field stars in host galaxies. Metal-rich GCs often appear more associated with field stars than metal-poor GCs, yet show bluer colors than their host galaxy light. Motivated by the discovery of multiple stellar populations in Milky Way GCs, we present a new scenario in which the presence of second-generation (SG) stars in GCs is responsible for the color discrepancy between metal-rich GCs and field stars. The model assumes that the SG populations have an enhanced helium abundance as evidenced by observations, and it gives a good explanation of the bluer optical colors of metal-rich GCs than field stars as well as strong Balmer lines and blue UV colors of metal-rich GCs. Ours may be complementary to the recent scenario suggesting the difference in stellar mass functions (MFs) as an origin for the GC-to-star color offset. A quantitative comparison is given between the SG and MF models.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL3
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume769
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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