AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 108. Old Stellar Populations
Oral, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 618-619

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[108.05D] The High-Redshift Formation of Metal-Poor Globular Cluster Systems

M. R. Santos (Caltech)

We present a new model of the formation of metal-poor globular cluster systems, under the assumption that cosmic reionization temporarily suppresses globular cluster formation. This model naturally accounts for the observed metallicity gap within globular cluster systems. After calibrating globular cluster formation efficiency against extant observations, the model predicts the spatial distribution and kinematics of globular cluster systems for different galaxy types and environments. We solve the "blue" globular cluster specific frequency problem.

Our approach integrates globular cluster formation into the modern structure formation paradigm. Through numerical simulation of the initial conditions and evolution of the distribution of matter, we follow the assembly of galaxies from very high redshift to the present. The simulation results are analyzed to determine which globular cluster formation prescriptions are consistent with the extensive local observations of metal-poor globular cluster systems. We present formation scenarios under our model that match existing data, and provide predictions for current and future observations.

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