Sunday, August 4, 2013

1308.0032 (B. M. S. Hansen et al.)

An Age Difference of 2 Gyr between a Metal-Rich and a Metal-Poor Globular Cluster    [PDF]

B. M. S. Hansen, J. S. Kalirai, J. Anderson, A. Dotter, H. B. Richer, R. M. Rich, M. M. Shara, G. G. Fahlman, J. R. Hurley, I. R. King, D. Reitzel, P. B. Stetson
Globular clusters trace the formation history of the spheroidal components of both our Galaxy and others, which represent the bulk of star formation over the history of the universe. They also exhibit a range of metallicities, with metal-poor clusters dominating the stellar halo of the Galaxy, and higher metallicity clusters found within the inner Galaxy, associated with the stellar bulge, or the thick disk. Age differences between these clusters can indicate the sequence in which the components of the Galaxy formed, and in particular which clusters were formed outside the Galaxy and later swallowed along with their original host galaxies, and which were formed in situ. Here we present an age determination of the metal-rich globular cluster 47 Tucanae by fitting the properties of the cluster white dwarf population, which implies an absolute age of 9.9 (0.7) Gyr at 95% confidence. This is about 2.0 Gyr younger than inferred for the metal-poor cluster NGC 6397 from the same models, and provides quantitative evidence that metal-rich clusters like 47 Tucanae formed later than the metal-poor halo clusters like NGC 6397.
View original:

No comments:

Post a Comment