We will present results for several heavily obscured Galactic globular clusters lying in the bulge, including Liller 1 and NGC 6624. The observations were obtained exploiting the exceptional high-resolution capabilities of the near-IR camera GSAOI combined with the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System at the GEMINI South Telescope. The images in the J and K bands are generally sub-0.1", only slightly larger than the diffraction limit of the telescope, yielding the deepest and most accurate color-magnitude diagrams obtained so far from the ground for these clusters. We derived the structural and physical properties of both clusters, supplementing the GEMS data with data from the Vista Variables in the Via Lactea project. We were also able to investigate the age of NGC 6624. We find that Liller 1 is significantly less concentrated and less extended than previously thought. We estimated the mass of Liller 1 to be 2.3 million solar masses, comparable to that of the most massive clusters in the Galaxy. Also, Liller 1 has the second-highest collision rate among all star clusters in the Galaxy, thus confirming that it is an ideal environment for the formation of collisional objects (such as millisecond pulsars). The NGC 6624 CMD reveals the second knee of the mainsequence and allows us to determine a very accurate age of 12.0 +-0.5 Gyr.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #227
- Pub Date:
- January 2016