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The M31 globular cluster system: ugriz and K-band photometry and structural parameters

The M31 globular cluster system: ugriz and K-band photometry and structural parameters
The M31 globular cluster system: ugriz and K-band photometry and structural parameters
We present an updated catalogue of M31 globular clusters (GCs) based on images from the Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

Our catalogue includes new, self-consistent ugriz and K-band photometry of these clusters. We discuss the difficulty of obtaining accurate photometry of clusters projected against M31 due to small-scale background structure in the galaxy. We consider the effect of this on the accuracy of our photometry and provide realistic photometric error estimates.

We investigate possible contamination in the current M31 GC catalogues using the excellent spatial resolution of these WFCAM images combined with the SDSS multicolour photometry. We identify a large population of clusters with very blue colours. Most of these have recently been proposed by other works as young clusters. We distinguish between these, and old clusters, in the final classifications.

Our final catalogue includes 416 old clusters, 156 young clusters and 373 candidate clusters. We also investigate the structure of M31's old GCs using previously published King model fits to these WFCAM images. We demonstrate that the structure and colours of M31's old GC system are similar to those of the Milky Way. One GC (B383) is found to be significantly brighter in previous observations than observed here.

We investigate all of the previous photometry of this GC and suggest that this variability appears to be genuine and short lived. We propose that the large increase in its luminosity may have been due to a classical nova in the GC at the time of the previous observations in 1989.
globular clusters, general, galaxies, individual, M31, star clusters
0035-8711
803-818
Peacock, Mark B.
e3eb9dc1-2e7b-4946-8ec8-2ad5a66081e9
Maccarone, Thomas J.
27e6101c-8fa4-41db-ba75-d2ee3d1a0c53
Knigge, Christian
ac320eec-631a-426e-b2db-717c8bf7857e
Kundu, Arunav
ece8dcd2-e6dc-4f02-a90b-016ba9b573ed
Waters, Christopher Z.
897683f5-911b-4f4f-9dd3-e4cf02e5e8c1
Zepf, Stephen E.
108fcc75-6611-48a3-b405-99737b38af85
Zurek, David R.
9874684b-3f56-4f4f-83f7-7a9c3c657f2b
Peacock, Mark B.
e3eb9dc1-2e7b-4946-8ec8-2ad5a66081e9
Maccarone, Thomas J.
27e6101c-8fa4-41db-ba75-d2ee3d1a0c53
Knigge, Christian
ac320eec-631a-426e-b2db-717c8bf7857e
Kundu, Arunav
ece8dcd2-e6dc-4f02-a90b-016ba9b573ed
Waters, Christopher Z.
897683f5-911b-4f4f-9dd3-e4cf02e5e8c1
Zepf, Stephen E.
108fcc75-6611-48a3-b405-99737b38af85
Zurek, David R.
9874684b-3f56-4f4f-83f7-7a9c3c657f2b

Peacock, Mark B., Maccarone, Thomas J., Knigge, Christian, Kundu, Arunav, Waters, Christopher Z., Zepf, Stephen E. and Zurek, David R. (2010) The M31 globular cluster system: ugriz and K-band photometry and structural parameters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 402 (2), 803-818. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15952.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present an updated catalogue of M31 globular clusters (GCs) based on images from the Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

Our catalogue includes new, self-consistent ugriz and K-band photometry of these clusters. We discuss the difficulty of obtaining accurate photometry of clusters projected against M31 due to small-scale background structure in the galaxy. We consider the effect of this on the accuracy of our photometry and provide realistic photometric error estimates.

We investigate possible contamination in the current M31 GC catalogues using the excellent spatial resolution of these WFCAM images combined with the SDSS multicolour photometry. We identify a large population of clusters with very blue colours. Most of these have recently been proposed by other works as young clusters. We distinguish between these, and old clusters, in the final classifications.

Our final catalogue includes 416 old clusters, 156 young clusters and 373 candidate clusters. We also investigate the structure of M31's old GCs using previously published King model fits to these WFCAM images. We demonstrate that the structure and colours of M31's old GC system are similar to those of the Milky Way. One GC (B383) is found to be significantly brighter in previous observations than observed here.

We investigate all of the previous photometry of this GC and suggest that this variability appears to be genuine and short lived. We propose that the large increase in its luminosity may have been due to a classical nova in the GC at the time of the previous observations in 1989.

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More information

Published date: February 2010
Keywords: globular clusters, general, galaxies, individual, M31, star clusters

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 79525
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/79525
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: bc09757f-94da-4ff8-b833-c7f85d8266a8

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Date deposited: 16 Mar 2010
Last modified: 17 Jul 2019 00:11

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Contributors

Author: Mark B. Peacock
Author: Thomas J. Maccarone
Author: Arunav Kundu
Author: Christopher Z. Waters
Author: Stephen E. Zepf
Author: David R. Zurek

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