Schedule Jan 17, 2009
On the Mass-to-Light Ratios of Globular Clusters
Diederik Kruijssen (Astro. Inst. Utrecht/Leiden Obs.)

Authors: Diederik Kruijssen & Steffen Mieske

The observed mass-to-light ratios of Galactic globular clusters (GCs) are about 25% lower than expected from their respective metallicities. Recent studies have indicated that the mass-to-light ratios could be decreased by cluster dissolution. This would occur due to the preferential loss of low-mass stars ensuing from two-body relaxation. Using analytical cluster models in which this effect is accounted for, we model the mass-to-light ratios of 24 GCs and compare these to the observed values. We obtain an average mass-to-light ratio drop of 20% and show that within the statistical uncertainty the mass-to-light ratios of GCs can indeed be explained by low-mass star depletion.

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