On the evolution of intracluster gas within Galactic globular clusters

William Priestley, Maximilian Ruffert, Maurizio Salaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has been known since the 1950s that the observed gas content of Galactic globular clusters (GCs) is two to three orders of magnitude less than the mass lost by stars between Galactic disc crossings. In this work, we address the question: what happens to this stellar gas?

Using an Eulerian nested grid code, we present 3D simulations to determine how stellar wind material evolves within the GC environment. We expand upon work done in the 1970s and move a single-mass King-model GC through the Galactic halo medium, stripping a 10(5) M-circle dot GC of its intracluster medium but predicting a detectable medium for a 10(6) M-circle dot cluster. We find from new multi-mass King-model simulations, the first to incorporate empirical mass-loss formulae, that the single-mass King model underestimates the retention of intracluster gas in the cluster. Lastly, we present a simple discretized multi-mass GC model, which yields lower levels of intracluster medium compared to the continuous single-and multi-mass King models.

Our results show that there is still an issue with the predicted intracluster gas content of massive GCs. We conclude that by modelling GC systems more accurately, in particular the stellar structure and description of mass loss, we will be able to work towards resolving this issue and begin to fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of the evolution of GCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1935-1952
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume411
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • hydrodynamics
  • methods: numerical
  • stars: mass-loss
  • stars: Population II
  • ISM: evolution
  • globular clusters: general
  • STELLAR MASS-LOSS
  • LOW-DENSITY PLASMA
  • OMEGA-CENTAURI
  • GIANT-BRANCH
  • INFRARED-EMISSION
  • NEUTRAL HYDROGEN
  • WINDS DRIVEN
  • FLOW MODELS
  • IONIZED-GAS
  • RED GIANTS

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