The outer halo globular cluster system of M31 - I. The final PAndAS catalogue

A. P. Huxor, A. D. Mackey, A. M. N. Ferguson, M. J. Irwin, N. F. Martin, N. R. Tanvir, J. Veljanoski, A. McConnachie, C. K. Fishlock, R. Ibata, G. F. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We report the discovery of 59 globular clusters (GCs) and two candidate GCs in a search of the halo of M31, primarily via visual inspection of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/MegaCam imagery from the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS). The superior quality of these data also allows us to check the classification of remote objects in the Revised Bologna Catalogue (RBC), plus a subset of GC candidates drawn from Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) imaging. We identify three additional new GCs from the RBC, and confirm the GC nature of 11 SDSS objects (8 of which appear independently in our remote halo catalogue); the remaining 188 candidates across both lists are either foreground stars or background galaxies. Our new catalogue represents the first uniform census of GCs across the M31 halo - we find clusters to the limit of the PAndAS survey area at projected radii of up to Rproj ˜ 150 kpc. Tests using artificial clusters reveal that detection incompleteness cuts in at luminosities below MV = -6.0; our 50 per cent completeness limit is MV ≈ -4.1. We construct a uniform set of PAndAS photometric measurements for all known GCs outside Rproj = 25 kpc, and any new GCs within this radius. With these data, we update results from Huxor et al., investigating the luminosity function (LF), colours and effective radii of M31 GCs with a particular focus on the remote halo. We find that the GCLF is clearly bimodal in the outer halo (Rproj > 30 kpc), with the secondary peak at MV ˜ -5.5. We argue that the GCs in this peak have most likely been accreted along with their host dwarf galaxies. Notwithstanding, we also find, as in previous surveys, a substantial number of GCs with above-average luminosity in the outer M31 halo - a population with no clear counterpart in the Milky Way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2187
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: haloes
  • galaxies: individual: M31
  • galaxies: star clusters: general


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