A possible explanation for the size difference of red and blue globular clusters

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Abstract

Most observations of the projected half-light radii of metal-rich globular clusters in a variety of galaxies have shown them to be ∼20% smaller than those of their metal-poor counterparts. We show using multimass isotropic Michie-King models that the combined effects of mass segregation and the dependence of main-sequence lifetimes on metallicity can account for this difference, under the assumption that clusters with similar central potentials have the same distribution of half-mass radii. If confirmed, this would represent a new constraint on theories of globular cluster formation and evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L117-L120
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume613
Issue number2 II
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

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