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Session 82 - Globular Clusters.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[82.14] The Cooling of the Globular Clusters by Dynamical Friction

N. V. Strobel (U. Washington)

Dynamical friction will significantly decrease the kinetic energy of massive objects like globular clusters over a timescale of a few billion years. The rate of decay is directly proportional to mass. However, the disk globular clusters have kinematics similar to the thick disk stars. The author simulates the effect of dynamical friction acting on a distribution of disk globular clusters with thick disk kinematics to check whether or not the disk globular clusters require a heating mechanism by massive objects in the halo (eg., satellite galaxies). Though dynamical friction is observed to have a significant cooling effect on the bulk of the disk globulars, the remaining globulars have kinematics similar to the thick disk stars. Since dynamical friction preferentially destroys objects on nearly

circular orbits that stay close to the plane, the globular clusters remaining today are the ones that were in the high energy tail of the initial distribution.

Program listing for Wednesday