Deep Chandra monitoring observations of NGC4649. II. Wide-field hubble space telescope imaging of the globular clusters

Jay Strader*, Giuseppina Fabbiano, Bin Luo, Dong Woo Kim, Jean P. Brodie, Tassos Fragos, John S. Gallagher, Vassiliki Kalogera, Andrew King, Andreas Zezas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present g and z photometry and size estimates for globular clusters (GCs) in the massive Virgo elliptical NGC4649 (M60) using a five-pointing Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys mosaic. The metal-poor GCs show a monotonic negative metallicity gradient of -0.43 ± 0.10 dex per dex in radius over the full radial range of the data, out to 24kpc. There is evidence for substantial color substructure among the metal-rich GCs. The metal-poor GCs have typical sizes 0.4pc larger than the metal-rich GCs out to large galactocentric distances (≳ 20kpc), favoring an intrinsic explanation for the size difference rather than projection effects. There is no clear relation between half-light radius and galactocentric distance beyond 15kpc, suggesting that the sizes of GCs are not generically set by tidal limitation. Finally, we identify 20 candidate ultracompact dwarfs that extend down to surprisingly faint absolute magnitudes (Mz -8.5), and may bridge the gap between this class and "extended clusters" in the Local Group. Three of the brighter candidates have published radial velocities and can be confirmed as bona fide ultracompact dwarfs; follow-up spectroscopy will determine the nature of the remainder of the candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number87
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume760
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2012

Keywords

  • galaxies: individual (NGC 4649)
  • galaxies: star clusters: general
  • globular clusters: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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