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Physics and Astronomy


Using 3.6 and 4.5 μm images of 73 late-type, edge-on galaxies from the S4 G survey, we compare the richness of the globular cluster populations of these galaxies to those of early-type galaxies that we measured previously. In general, the galaxies presented here fill in the distribution for galaxies with lower stellar mass, M*, specifically log 10 ( ) M M *  < , overlap the results for early-type galaxies of similar masses, and, by doing so, strengthen the case for a dependence of the number of globular clusters per 109 Me of galaxy stellar mass, TN, on M*. For 8.5 log 10.5 ( ) M M * < <  we find the relationship can be satisfactorily described as T M N 106.7 0.56 ( ) * = - when M* is expressed in solar masses. The functional form of the relationship is only weakly constrained, and extrapolation outside this range is not advised. Our late-type galaxies, in contrast to our early types, do not show the tendency for low-mass galaxies to split into two TN families. Using these results and a galaxy stellar mass function from the literature, we calculate that, in a volume-limited, local universe sample, clusters are most likely to be found around fairly massive galaxies (M* ∼ 1010.8Me) and present a fitting function for the volume number density of clusters as a function of parent-galaxy stellar mass. We find no correlation between TN and large-scale environment, but we do find a tendency for galaxies of fixed M* to have larger TN if they have converted a larger proportion of their baryons into stars.


© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Original Publication Information

Zaritsky, Dennis, et al. "Globular Cluster Populations: Results Including S4G Late-Type Galaxies." 2016. The Astrophysical Journal 818(1): 11 pp.