AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 60. Star Clusters in Galaxies
Oral, Thursday, January 7, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Room 9 (C)

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[60.03] The Complex Nature of Globular Cluster Populations in Elliptical Galaxies

E. H. Neilsen, Jr., Z. I. Tsvetanov (Johns Hopkins University)

The metallicity distribution of globular clusters in elliptical galaxies has significant implications for the formation processes and histories of elliptical galaxies and the globular clusters themselves. We present the V-I color distributions, derived from HST WFPC-2 observations, of globular clusters in a sample of approximately ten elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster, and explore the features of these distributions using a variety of statistical techniques. In the majority of the sample, two distinct peaks in the color distribution can be identified. These galaxies significantly increase the number of clearly identified double peaked globular cluster color distributions; only a few were known previous to this study. There are instances, however, where we are unable to resolve more than one peak. In all cases, it is possible that there are more peaks than those identified, but which cannot be detected because of limited statistics. We explore the implications of these features for several current models of globular cluster population formation.

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