Numerical simulations of a globular cluster orbiting in the central region of a triaxial galaxy have been performed, in order to study the formation and subsequent evolution of tidal tails and their main features. Tails begin to form after about a quarter of the cluster orbital period and tend to lie along its orbit, with a leading tail that precedes the cluster and an outer tail that trails behind it. Tails show clumpy substructures; the most prominent ones (for a globular cluster moving on a quasi-circular orbit around the galaxy) are located at a distance from the cluster center between 50 pc and 80 pc and, after 3 orbital periods, contain about 10% of the cluster mass at that epoch. The morphology of tails and clumps will be compared with available observational data, in particular with that concerning Palomar 5, for which evident clumps in the tails have been detected. Kinematical properties of stars in the tails (line-of-sight velocities and velocity dispersion profiles) will be presented and compared to kinematical data of M15 and ω Centauri, two galactic globular clusters for which there is evidence that the velocity dispersion remains constant at large radii.All the simulations have been performed with our own implementation of a tree-code, that uses a multipolar expansion of the potential truncated at the quadrupole moment and that ran on high performance computers employing an original parallelization approach implemented via MPI routines. The time-integration of the `particles' trajectories is performed by a 2nd order leap-frog algorithm, using individual and variable time-steps. Part of this work has been done using the IBM SP4 platform located at CINECA (Bologna, Italy) thanks to the grant inarm007 obtained in the framework of INAF-CINECA agreements.
AAS/Division of Dynamical Astronomy Meeting #35
- Pub Date:
- May 2004