AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 40. Extragalactic Star Clusters: From Ancient Globulars to Young Star Clusters
Topical, Oral, Tuesday, June 1, 1999, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, Continental Ballroom A

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[40.01] Comparative Properties of the Globular Cluster Systems of M31, M33 and Dwarf Spheroidals: implications for the early formation history of the Local Group

A. Sarajedini (Wesleyan University)

In classical scenarios of spiral galaxy formation, the halo stellar population contains some of the oldest stars in the galaxy. In the Milky Way, this theoretical expectation has been corroborated by observations of globular clusters and field stars. In particular, age and metallicity estimates for Galactic globular clusters have allowed us to construct a formation chronology for the Milky Way's luminous halo population. Using these results as a springboard, and with the advent of the Hubble Space Telescope, it is possible to probe the formation chronologies of the other two Local Group spiral galaxies - M31 and M33. This talk will present the latest results pertaining to the earliest star formation epochs in the Milky Way, M31, and M33 as manifest in their globular cluster systems. These results will then be compared with the globular clusters in the Milky Way dwarf spheroidal galaxies - Sagittarius and Fornax.

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