Statistical analysis of Galactic globular cluster type properties

Simioni, M.; Aparicio, A.; Piotto, G.
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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The analysis of pseudo-colour diagrams, the so-called chromosome maps, of Galactic globular clusters (GCs) permits to classify them into type I and type II clusters. Type II GCs are characterized by an above-the-average complexity of their chromosome maps and some of them are known to display star-to-star variations of slow neutron-capture reaction elements including iron. This is at the basis of the hypothesis that type II GCs may have an extragalactic origin and were subsequently accreted by the Milky Way. We performed a principal component analysis to explore possible correlations among various GCs parameters in the light of this new classification. The analysis revealed that cluster type correlates mainly with relative age. The cause of this relation was further investigated finding that more metal-rich type II clusters, also appear to be younger and more distant from the Galactic centre. A depletion of type II clusters for positive values of Galactic coordinate Z was also observed, with no type II clusters detected above Z ∼ 2 kpc. Type II cluster orbits also have larger eccentricities than type I ones.
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