Evolution of second-generation stars in stellar disks of globular and nuclear clusters: ω centauri as a test case

Alessandra Mastrobuono-Battisti, Hagai B. Perets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Globular clusters (GCs) and many nuclear clusters (NCs) show evidence of hosting multiple generations of stellar populations. Younger stellar populations in NCs appear to reside in disk-like structures, including the NC in our own Galactic center as well as in M31. Kinematic studies of the anomalous GC ω Centauri, thought to possibly be a former dwarf galaxy (or a galactic nucleus), show evidence of hosting a central, kinematically cold disk component. These observations suggest that formation of second- (or multiple) generation stars may occur in flattened disk-like structures. Here, we use detailed N-body simulations to explore the possible evolution of such stellar disks embedded in GCs. We follow the long-term evolution of a disk-like structure similar to that observed in ω Centauri and study its properties. We find that a stellar-disk-like origin for second-generation stellar populations can leave behind significant kinematic signatures in properties of the clusters, including an anisotropic distribution and lower velocity dispersions, which can be used to constrain the origin of second-generations stars and their dynamical evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume779
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Galaxy: disk
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • globular clusters: individual (Omega Centauri)
  • methods: numerical

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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