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The formation of globular clusters in merging and interacting galaxies
Ashman, Keith M.; Zepf, Stephen E.
AA(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD), AB(Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 384, Jan. 1, 1992, p. 50-61. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Galactic Clusters, Globular Clusters, Star Formation, Disk Galaxies, Elliptical Galaxies, Metallicity
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It is proposed that at least some globular clusters are formed during the interaction or merger of galaxies in order to explain the disk population of clusters in the Galaxy, the young globulars in the Magellanic Clouds, the excess of clusters around ellipticals relative to spirals of the same luminosity, and the anomalously large globular cluster systems around some galaxies in the center of galaxy clusters. It is shown that, if all protospirals contain subgalactic clouds with a similar mass spectrum, the specific frequency of globular clusters around spirals will be constant. Extending the argument makes it possible to predict, for a given cosmological spectrum of density fluctuations, the number of globular clusters that form as a function of galactic mass. It is shown that this hypothesis is consistent with a number of current observations and possible tests of the model are described.

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