Volume 628, August 2019
|Number of page(s)||21|
|Published online||12 August 2019|
Constraining nuclear star cluster formation using MUSE-AO observations of the early-type galaxy FCC 47⋆
European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild Straße 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
2 Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
4 University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
5 Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 80 Nandan Road, Shanghai 200030, PR China
6 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “G. Galilei”, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
7 INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
8 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Calle Via Láctea s/n, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
9 Depto. Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, Calle Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez s/n, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
10 INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
11 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia
12 Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, UK
13 Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB, UK
14 Sterrewacht Leiden, Leiden University, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
15 Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Gießenbachstraße 1, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Accepted: 28 June 2019
Context. Nuclear star clusters (NSCs) are found in at least 70% of all galaxies, but their formation path is still unclear. In the most common scenarios, NSCs form in-situ from the galaxy’s central gas reservoir, through the merging of globular clusters (GCs), or through a combination of both.
Aims. As the scenarios pose different expectations for angular momentum and stellar population properties of the NSC in comparison to the host galaxy and the GC system, it is necessary to characterise the stellar light, NSC, and GCs simultaneously. The large NSC (reff = 66 pc) and rich GC system of the early-type Fornax cluster galaxy FCC 47 (NGC 1336) render this galaxy an ideal laboratory to constrain NSC formation.
Methods. Using Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer science verification data assisted by adaptive optics, we obtained maps for the stellar kinematics and stellar-population properties of FCC 47. We extracted the spectra of the central NSC and determined line-of-sight velocities of 24 GCs and metallicities of five.
Results. The galaxy shows the following kinematically decoupled components (KDCs): a disk and a NSC. Our orbit-based dynamical Schwarzschild model revealed that the NSC is a distinct kinematic feature and it constitutes the peak of metallicity and old ages in FCC 47. The main body consists of two counter-rotating populations and is dominated by a more metal-poor population. The GC system is bimodal with a dominant metal-poor population and the total GC system mass is ∼17% of the NSC mass (∼7 × 108 M⊙).
Conclusions. The rotation, high metallicity, and high mass of the NSC cannot be explained by GC-inspiral alone. It most likely requires additional, quickly quenched, in-situ formation. The presence of two KDCs likely are evidence of a major merger that has significantly altered the structure of FCC 47, indicating the important role of galaxy mergers in forming the complex kinematics in the galaxy-NSC system.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 1336 / galaxies: nuclei / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: star clusters: general
© ESO 2019
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