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Quantifying galactic morphological transformations in the cluster environment  [PDF]
B. Cervantes-Sodi,Changbom Park,X. Hernandez,Ho Seong Hwang
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18415.x
Abstract: We study the effects of the cluster environment on galactic morphology by defining a dimensionless angular momentum parameter $\lambda_{d}$, to obtain a quantitative and objective measure of galaxy type. The use of this physical parameter allows us to take the study of morphological transformations in clusters beyond the measurements of merely qualitative parameters, e.g. S/E ratios, to a more physical footing. To this end, we employ an extensive Sloan Digital Sky Survey sample (Data Release 7), with galaxies associated with Abell galaxy clusters. The sample contains 121 relaxed Abell clusters and over 51,000 individual galaxies, which guarantees a thorough statistical coverage over a wide range of physical parameters. We find that the median $\lambda_{d}$ value tends to decrease as we approach the cluster center, with different dependences according to the mass of the galaxies and the hosting cluster; low and intermediate mass galaxies showing a strong dependence, while massive galaxies seems to show, at all radii, low $\lambda_{d}$ values. By analysing trends in $\lambda_{d}$ as functions of the nearest neighbour environment, clustercentric radius and velocity dispersion of clusters, we can identify clearly the leading physical processes at work. We find that in massive clusters ($\sigma>700$ km/s), the interaction with the cluster central region dominates, whilst in smaller clusters galaxy-galaxy interactions are chiefly responsible for driving galactic morphological transformations.
How galactic environment regulates star formation  [PDF]
Sharon E. Meidt
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: In a new simple model I reconcile two contradictory views on the factors that determine the rate at which molecular clouds form stars -- internal structure vs. external, environmental influences -- providing a unified picture for the regulation of star formation in galaxies. In the presence of external pressure, the pressure gradient set up within a self-gravitating isothermal cloud leads to a non-uniform density distribution. Thus the local environment of a cloud influences its internal structure. In the simple equilibrium model, the fraction of gas at high density in the cloud interior is determined simply by the cloud surface density, which is itself inherited from the pressure in the immediate surroundings. This idea is tested using measurements of the properties of local clouds, which are found to show remarkable agreement with the simple equilibrium model. The model also naturally predicts the star formation relation observed on cloud scales and, at the same time, provides a mapping between this relation and the closer-to-linear molecular star formation relation measured on larger scales in galaxies. The key is that pressure regulates not only the molecular content of the ISM but also the cloud surface density. I provide a straightforward prescription for the pressure regulation of star formation that can be directly implemented in numerical models. Predictions for the dense gas fraction and star formation efficiency measured on large-scales within galaxies are also presented, establishing the basis for a new picture of star formation regulated by galactic environment.
Galactic Nuclei Formation Via Globular Cluster Merging  [PDF]
R. Capuzzo-Dolcetta,P. Miocchi
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: Preliminary results are presented about a fully self-consistent N-body simulation of a sample of four massive globular clusters in close interaction within the central region of a galaxy. The N-body representation (with N=1.5x10^6 particles in total) of both the clusters and the galaxy allows to include in a natural and self-consistent way dynamical friction and tidal interactions. The results confirm the decay and merging of globulars as a viable scenario for the formation/accretion of compact nuclear clusters. Specifically: i) the frictional orbital decay is about 2 times faster than that predicted by the generalized Chandrasekhar formula; ii) the progenitor clusters merge in less than 20 galactic core-crossing times; iii) the NC configuration keeps quasi-stable at least within 70 galactic core-crossing times.
The regulation of star formation in cool-core clusters: imprints on the stellar populations of brightest cluster galaxies  [PDF]
S. I. Loubser,A. Babul,H. Hoekstra,A. Mahdavi,M. Donahue,C. Bildfell,G. M. Voit
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: A fraction of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) shows bright emission in the UV and the blue part of the optical spectrum, which has been interpreted as evidence of recent star formation. Most of these results are based on the analysis of broadband photometric data. Here, we study the optical spectra of a sample of 19 BCGs hosted by X-ray luminous galaxy clusters at 0.15 < z < 0.3, a subset from the Canadian Cluster Comparison Project (CCCP) sample. We identify plausible star formation histories of the galaxies by fitting Simple Stellar Populations (SSPs) as well as composite populations, consisting of a young stellar component superimposed on an intermediate/old stellar component, to accurately constrain their star formation histories. We detect prominent young (~200 Myr) stellar populations in 4 of the 19 galaxies. Of the four, the BCG in Abell 1835 shows remarkable A-type stellar features indicating a relatively large population of young stars, which is extremely unusual even amongst star forming BCGs. We constrain the mass contribution of these young components to the total stellar mass to be typically between 1% to 3%, but rising to 7% in Abell 1835. We find that the four of the BCGs with strong evidence for recent star formation (and only these four galaxies) are found within a projected distance of 5 kpc of their host cluster's X-ray peak, and the diffuse, X-ray gas surrounding the BCGs exhibit a ratio of the radiative cooling-to-free-fall time ($t_{c}/t_{ff}$) of < 10. These are also some of the clusters with the lowest central entropy. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the precipitation-driven star formation and AGN feedback model, in which the radiatively cooling diffuse gas is subject to local thermal instabilities once the instability parameter $t_{c}/t_{ff}$ falls below ~10, leading to the condensation and precipitation of cold gas. [Abridged]
Globular Cluster Ages and the Formation of the Galactic Halo  [PDF]
Brian Chaboyer,P. Demarque,Ata Sarajedini
Physics , 1995, DOI: 10.1086/176921
Abstract: Main sequence turnoff magnitudes from the recent set of Yale isochrones (Chaboyer \ea 1995) have been combined with a variety of relations for the absolute magnitude of RR Lyr stars (\mvrr) to calibrate age as a function of the difference in magnitude between the main sequence turn-off and the horizontal branch (\dv). A best estimate for the calibration of \mvrr is derived from a survey of the current literature: $\mvrr = 0.20 \feh + 0.98$. This estimate, together with other calibrations (with slopes ranging from 0.15 to 0.30) has been used to derive \dv ages for 43 Galactic globular clusters. Independent of the choice of \mvrr, there is no strong evidence for an age-Galacto\-centric distance relationship among the 43 globular clusters. However, an age-metallicity relation exists, with the metal-poor clusters being the oldest. A study of the age distribution reveals that an age range of 5 Gyr exists among the bulk of the globular clusters. In addition, about 10\% of the sample are substantially younger, and including them in the analysis increases the age range to 9 Gyr. Once again, these statements are independent of the \mvrr ~relation. Evidence for age being the second parameter governing horizontal branch morphology is found by comparing the average \dv ~age of the second parameter clusters to the normal clusters. The second parameter clusters are found to be on average 2 - 3 Gyr younger than the other clusters, which is consistent with age being the second parameter. These results suggest that globular clusters were formed over an extended period of time, with progressively more metal-rich globular clusters ($\feh \ga -1.7$) being formed at later times.
Galactic Nuclear Cluster Formation Via Globular Cluster Mergers  [PDF]
Roberto Capuzzo-Dolcetta
Physics , 2013,
Abstract: We apply the idea that dense stellar systems in the central region of galaxies are formed via globular cluster mergers to the formation of the nuclear star cluster of the Milky Way, where a massive black hole is present. Our high precision N-body simulations show a good fit to the observational characteristics of the Milky Way nuclear cluster, giving further reliability to the so called migratory model for the formation of compact systems in the inner galaxy regions keywords galaxies: nuclei - galaxies: black holes - galaxies: globular clusters - galaxies: Milky Way - N-body: simulations
Star formation efficiencies of molecular clouds in a galactic center environment  [PDF]
Erik Bertram,Simon C. O. Glover,Paul C. Clark,Ralf S. Klessen
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: We use the Arepo moving mesh code to simulate the evolution of molecular clouds exposed to a harsh environment similar to that found in the galactic center (GC), in an effort to understand why the star formation efficiency (SFE) of clouds in this environment is so small. Our simulations include a simplified treatment of time-dependent chemistry and account for the highly non-isothermal nature of the gas and the dust. We model clouds with a total mass of 1.3x10^5 M_{sun} and explore the effects of varying the mean cloud density and the virial parameter, alpha = E_{kin}/|E_{pot}|. We vary the latter from alpha = 0.5 to alpha = 8.0, and so many of the clouds that we simulate are gravitationally unbound. We expose our model clouds to an interstellar radiation field (ISRF) and cosmic ray flux (CRF) that are both a factor of 1000 higher than the values found in the solar neighbourhood. As a reference, we also run simulations with local solar neighbourhood values of the ISRF and the CRF in order to better constrain the effects of the extreme conditions in the GC on the SFE. Despite the harsh environment and the large turbulent velocity dispersions adopted, we find that all of the simulated clouds form stars within less than a gravitational free-fall time. Increasing the virial parameter from alpha = 0.5 to alpha = 8.0 decreases the SFE by a factor ~4-10, while increasing the ISRF/CRF by a factor of 1000 decreases the SFE again by a factor ~2-6. However, even in our most unbound clouds, the SFE remains higher than that inferred for real GC clouds. We therefore conclude that high levels of turbulence and strong external heating are not enough by themselves to lead to a persistently low SFE at the center of the Galaxy.
Multi-wavelength environment of the Galactic globular cluster Terzan 5  [PDF]
Andre-Claude Clapson,Wilfried Domainko,Marek Jamrozy,Michal Dyrda,Peter Eger
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015559
Abstract: Terzan 5 is a Galactic globular cluster exhibiting prominent X-ray and gamma-ray emission. Following the discovery of extended X- ray emission in this object, we explore here archival data at several wavelengths for other unexpected emission features in the vicinity of this globular cluster. Radio data from the Effelsberg 100 metre telescope show several extended structures near Terzan 5, albeit with large uncertainties in the flux estimates and no reliable radio spectral index. In particular, a radio source extending from the location of Terzan 5 to the north-west could result from long-term non-thermal electron production by the large population of milli-second pulsars in this globular cluster. Another prominent radio structure close to Terzan 5 may be explained by ionised material produced by a field O star. As for the diffuse X-ray emission found in Terzan 5, its extension appears to be limited to within 2.5 arcmin of the globular cluster and the available multi-wavelength data is compatible with an inverse Compton scenario but disfavours a non-thermal Bremsstrahlung origin.
The influence of the cluster environment on the star formation efficiency of 12 Virgo spiral galaxies  [PDF]
B. Vollmer,. O. I. Wong,J. Braine,A. Chung,J. D. P. Kenney
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201118690
Abstract: The influence of the environment on gas surface density and star formation efficiency of cluster spiral galaxies is investigated. We extend previous work on radial profiles by a pixel-to pixel analysis looking for asymmetries due to environmental interactions. The star formation rate is derived from GALEX UV and Spitzer total infrared data. As in field galaxies, the star formation rate for most Virgo galaxies is approximately proportional to the molecular gas mass. Except for NGC 4438, the cluster environment does not affect the star formation efficiency with respect to the molecular gas. Gas truncation is not associated with major changes in the total gas surface density distribution of the inner disk of Virgo spiral galaxies. In three galaxies, possible increases in the molecular fraction and the star formation efficiency with respect to the total gas, of factors of 1.5 to 2, are observed on the windward side of the galactic disk. A significant increase of the star formation efficiency with respect to the molecular gas content on the windward side of ram pressure-stripped galaxies is not observed. The ram-pressure stripped extraplanar gas of 3 highly inclined spiral galaxies shows a depressed star formation efficiency with respect to the total gas, and one of them (NGC 4438) shows a depressed rate even with respect to the molecular gas. The interpretation is that stripped gas loses the gravitational confinement and associated pressure of the galactic disk, and the gas flow is diverging, so the gas density decreases and the star formation rate drops. However, the stripped extraplanar gas in one highly inclined galaxy (NGC 4569) shows a normal star formation efficiency with respect to the total gas. We propose this galaxy is different because it is observed long after peak pressure, and its extraplanar gas is now in a converging flow as it resettles back into the disk.
Star formation towards the Scutum tangent region and the effects of Galactic environment  [PDF]
D. J. Eden,T. J. T. Moore,R. Plume,L. K. Morgan
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20840.x
Abstract: By positional matching to the catalogue of Galactic Ring Survey molecular clouds, we have derived distances to 793 Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS) sources out of a possible 806 located within the region defined by Galactic longitudes l = 28.5 degr to 31.5 degr and latitudes |b| < 1 degr. This section of the Galactic Plane contains several major features of Galactic structure at different distances, mainly mid-arm sections of the Perseus and Sagittarius spiral arms and the tangent of the Scutum-Centarus arm, which is coincident with the end of the Galactic Long Bar. By utilising the catalogued cloud distances plus new kinematic distance determinations, we are able to separate the dense BGPS clumps into these three main line-of-sight components to look for variations in star-formation properties that might be related to the different Galactic environments. We find no evidence of any difference in either the clump mass function or the average clump formation efficiency (CFE) between these components that might be attributed to environmental effects on scales comparable to Galactic-structure features. Despite having a very high star-formation rate, and containing at least one cloud with a very high CFE, the star formation associated with the Scutum-Centarus tangent does not appear to be in any way abnormal or different to that in the other two spiral-arm sections. Large variations in the CFE are found on the scale of individual clouds, however, which may be due to local triggering agents as opposed to the large-scale Galactic structure.
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