AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationJeremy Bailin 2018 ApJ 863 99
Rights© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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AbstractDetailed observations of globular clusters (GCs) have revealed evidence of self-enrichment: some of the heavy elements that we see in stars today were produced by cluster stars themselves. Moreover, GCs have internal subpopulations with different elemental abundances, including, in some cases, in elements such as iron that are produced by supernovae. This paper presents a theoretical model for GC formation motivated by observations of Milky Way star-forming regions and simulations of star formation, where giant molecular clouds fragment into multiple clumps that undergo star formation at slightly different times. Core collapse supernovae from earlier-forming clumps can enrich later-forming clumps to the degree that the ejecta can be retained within the gravitational potential well, resulting in subpopulations with different total metallicities once the clumps merge to form the final cluster. The model matches the mass-metallicity relation seen in GC populations around massive elliptical galaxies, and predicts metallicity spreads within clusters in excellent agreement with those seen in Milky Way GCs, even for those whose internal abundance spreads are so large that their entire identity as a GC is in question. The internal metallicity spread serves as an excellent measurement of how much self-enrichment has occurred in a cluster, a result that is very robust to variation in the model parameters.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNASA [HST-AR-13908.001-A, NAS 5-26555]