Implications for galaxy formation models from observations of globular clusters around ultradiffuse galaxies

Saifollahi, Teymoor; Zaritsky, Dennis; Trujillo, Ignacio; Peletier, Reynier F.; Knapen, Johan H.; Amorisco, Nicola; Beasley, Michael A.; Donnerstein, Richard
Bibliographical reference

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Advertised on:
We present an analysis of Hubble Space Telescope observations of globular clusters (GCs) in six ultradiffuse galaxies (UDGs) in the Coma cluster, a sample that represents UDGs with large effective radii (Re), and use the results to evaluate competing formation models. We eliminate two significant sources of systematic uncertainty in the determination of the number of GCs, NGC by using sufficiently deep observations that (i) reach the turnover of the globular cluster luminosity function (GCLF) and (ii) provide a sufficient number of GCs with which to measure the GC number radial distribution. We find that NGC for these galaxies is on average ~ 20, which implies an average total mass, Mtotal, ~ 1011 M⊙ when applying the relation between NGC and Mtotal. This value of NGC lies at the upper end of the range observed for dwarf galaxies of the same stellar mass and is roughly a factor of two larger than the mean. The GCLF, radial profile, and average colour are more consistent with those observed for dwarf galaxies than with those observed for the more massive (L*) galaxies, while both the radial and azimuthal GC distributions closely follow those of the stars in the host galaxy. Finally, we discuss why our observations, specifically the GC number and GC distribution around these six UDGs, pose challenges for several of the currently favoured UDG formation models.
Related projects
Group members
Traces of Galaxy Formation: Stellar populations, Dynamics and Morphology

We are a large, diverse, and very active research group aiming to provide a comprehensive picture for the formation of galaxies in the Universe. Rooted in detailed stellar population analysis, we are constantly exploring and developing new tools and ideas to understand how galaxies came to be what we now observe.

Martín Navarro