The SLUGGS survey: combining stellar and globular cluster metallicities in the outer regions of early-type galaxies

Pastorello, Nicola, Forbes, Duncan A., Usher, Christopher, Brodie, Jean P., Romanowsky, Aaron J., Strader, Jay, Spitler, Lee R., Alabi, Adebusola B., Foster, Caroline, Jennings, Zachary G., Kartha, Sreeja S. and Pota, Vincenzo 2015, The SLUGGS survey: combining stellar and globular cluster metallicities in the outer regions of early-type galaxies, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 451, no. 3, pp. 2625-2639, doi: 10.1093/mnras/stv1131.

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Title The SLUGGS survey: combining stellar and globular cluster metallicities in the outer regions of early-type galaxies
Author(s) Pastorello, NicolaORCID iD for Pastorello, Nicola
Forbes, Duncan A.
Usher, Christopher
Brodie, Jean P.
Romanowsky, Aaron J.
Strader, Jay
Spitler, Lee R.
Alabi, Adebusola B.
Foster, Caroline
Jennings, Zachary G.
Kartha, Sreeja S.
Pota, Vincenzo
Journal name Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume number 451
Issue number 3
Start page 2625
End page 2639
Total pages 15
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2015-08-11
ISSN 0035-8711
Keyword(s) galaxies : abundances
galaxies : elliptical and lenticular
galaxies : evolution
galaxies : formation
galaxies : star clusters : general
galaxies : stellar content
Summary The outer halo regions of early-type galaxies carry key information about their past accretion history. However, spectroscopically probing the stellar component at such galactocentric radii is still challenging. Using Keck/DEIMOS, we have been able to measure the metallicities of the stellar and globular cluster components in 12 early-type galaxies out to more than 10 Re. We find similar metallicity gradients for the metal-poor and metal-rich globular cluster subpopulations, suggesting a common formation process for the two subpopulations. This is in conflict with most current theoretical predictions, where the metal-poor globular clusters are thought to be purely accreted and metal-rich globular clusters mostly formed in-situ. Moreover, we find that the globular cluster metallicity gradients show a trend with galaxy mass, being steeper in lower-mass galaxies than in higher-mass galaxies. This is similar to what we find for the outermost galaxy stars and suggests a more active accretion history, with a larger role played by major mergers, in the most massive galaxies. This conclusion is qualitatively consistent with expectations from two-phase galaxy assembly models. Finally, we find that the small difference in metallicity between galaxy stars and metal-rich globular clusters at 1 Re may correlate with galaxy mass. The origin of this difference is not currently clear.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/mnras/stv1131
Field of Research 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
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