The flattening of globular clusters: internal rotation or velocity anisotropy? .

P. Bianchini, A. L. Varri, G. Bertin, A. Zocchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Internal rotation is considered to play a major role in determining the structure and dynamics of some globular clusters. We present a dynamical analysis of the photometry and three-dimensional kinematics of 47 Tuc and omega Cen, by means of a new family of self-consistent axisymmetric rotating models. The combined use of line-of-sight velocities and proper motions allows us to obtain a global description of the internal dynamical structure of the objects together with an estimate of their dynamical distances. The well-relaxed cluster 47 Tuc is very well interpreted by our dynamical models; in particular, internal rotation is found to explain the observed morphology. For the partially relaxed cluster omega Cen, the selected model provides a good representation of its complex three-dimensional kinematics, in general qualitative agreement with the observed anisotropy profile, which is characterized by tangential anisotropy in the outer parts; discrepancies are found between the observed and the expected ellipticity profile and are ascribed to the presence of a high degree of radial anisotropy in the intermediate region and to its interplay with rotation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183
JournalJournal of the Italian Astronomical Society
Volume84
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • globular clusters:general
  • globular clusters:individual: NGC 104 (47 Tuc)
  • NGC 5139 (omega Cen)

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