Exploring the Internal Dynamics of Globular ClustersThe formation histories and structural properties of globular clusters are imprinted on their internal dynamics. Energy equipartition results in velocity differences for stars of different mass, and leads to mass segregation, which results in different spatial distributions for stars of different mass. Intermediate-mass black holes significantly increase the velocity dispersions at the centres of clusters. By combining accurate measurements of their internal kinematics with state-of-the-art dynamical models, we can characterise both the velocity dispersion and mass profiles of clusters, tease apart the different effects, and understand how clusters may have formed and evolved.Using proper motions from the Hubble Space Telescope Proper Motion (HSTPROMO) Collaboration for a set of 22 Milky Way globular clusters, and our discrete dynamical modelling techniques designed to work with large, high-quality datasets, we are studying a variety of internal cluster properties. We will present the results of theoretical work on simulated clusters that demonstrates the efficacy of our approach, and preliminary results from application to real clusters.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #231
- Pub Date:
- January 2018