Schedule Jan 17, 2009
The Interpretation of the Globular Cluster Luminosity Function
Diederik Kruijssen (Astro. Inst. Utrecht/Leiden Obs.)

Authors: Diederik Kruijssen & Simon Portegies Zwart

In past years, the shape of the globular cluster mass function (GCMF) has been the subject of extensive discussion. However, not much attention has been given to the fact that it is always derived from the globular cluster luminosity function (GCLF) using a constant mass-to-light ratio for all globular clusters (GCs). We elaborate on the variability of the mass-to-light ratio with cluster mass and how this by necessity leads to a revision of the relation between the GCLF and the GCMF. We show that accounting for the preferential loss of low-mass stars yields a Galactic GCMF with low-mass slope equal to 0.7 instead of 1.0. Another implication of this more detailed translation from GCLF to GCMF is a lower turnover mass than would arise when assuming a constant mass-to-light ratio.

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