SCYON Abstract

Received on April 23 2007

Structural parameters for globular clusters in M31 and generalizations for the fundamental plane

AuthorsP. Barmby (1), D.E. McLaughlin (2), W.E. Harris (3), G.L.H. Harris (4), and D.A. Forbes (5)
Affiliation(1) CfA
(2) U. Leicester
(3) McMaster U.
(4) U. Waterloo
(5) Swinburne U.
Accepted byAstronomical Journal


The structures of globular clusters (GCs) reflect their dynamical states and past histories. High-resolution imaging allows the exploration of morphologies of clusters in other galaxies. Surface brightness profiles from new Hubble Space Telescope observations of 34 globular clusters in M31 are presented, together with fits of several different structural models to each cluster. M31 clusters appear to be adequately fit by standard King models, and do not obviously require alternate descriptions with relatively stronger halos, such as are needed to fit many GCs in other nearby galaxies. The derived structural parameters are combined with corrected versions of those measured in an earlier survey to construct a comprehensive catalog of structural and dynamical parameters for M31 GCs with a sample size similar to that for the Milky Way. Clusters in M31, the Milky Way, Magellanic Clouds, Fornax dwarf spheroidal and NGC 5128 define a very tight fundamental plane with identical slopes. The combined evidence for these widely different galaxies strongly reinforces the view that old globular clusters have near-universal structural properties regardless of host environment.