Formation of globular clusters in galaxy mergers

Yuexing Cindy Li, Mordecai Mark Mac Low, Ralf S. Klessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a high-resolution simulation of globular cluster formation in a galaxy merger. For the first time in such a simulation, individual star clusters are directly identified and followed on their orbits. We quantitatively compare star formation in the merger to that in the unperturbed galaxies. The merging galaxies show a strong starburst, in sharp contrast to their isolated progenitors. Most star clusters form in the tidal features. With a mass range of 5 × 105-5 × 106 M , they are identified as globular clusters. The merger remnant is an elliptical galaxy. Clusters with different masses or ages have different radial distributions in the galaxy. Our results show that the high specific frequency and bimodal distribution of metallicity observed in elliptical galaxies are natural products of gas-rich mergers, supporting a merger origin for the ellipticals and their globular cluster systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume614
Issue number1 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2004

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globular clusters
merger
galaxies
elliptical galaxies
star clusters
frequency distribution
radial distribution
metallicity
star formation
simulation
orbits
high resolution
products
gases
gas
distribution

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Li, Yuexing Cindy ; Mac Low, Mordecai Mark ; Klessen, Ralf S. / Formation of globular clusters in galaxy mergers. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2004 ; Vol. 614, No. 1 II.
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Formation of globular clusters in galaxy mergers. / Li, Yuexing Cindy; Mac Low, Mordecai Mark; Klessen, Ralf S.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 614, No. 1 II, 10.10.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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