On the central structure of M15

Baumgardt, Holger, Hut, Piet, Makino, Junichiro, McMillan, Steve and Zwart, Simon Portegies (2003) On the central structure of M15. Astrophysical Journal, 582 1: L21-L24. doi:10.1086/367537

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Author Baumgardt, Holger
Hut, Piet
Makino, Junichiro
McMillan, Steve
Zwart, Simon Portegies
Title On the central structure of M15
Journal name Astrophysical Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-637X
1538-4357
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/367537
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 582
Issue 1
Start page L21
End page L24
Total pages 4
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We present a detailed comparison between the latest observational data on the kinematical structure of the core of M15, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 instruments, and the results of dynamical simulations carried out using the special purpose GRAPE-6 computer. The observations imply the presence of a significant amount of dark matter in the cluster core. In our dynamical simulations, neutron stars and/or massive white dwarfs concentrate to the center through mass segregation, resulting in a sharp increase in M/L toward the center. While consistent with the presence of a central black hole, the Hubble Space Telescope data can also be explained by this central concentration of stellar mass compact objects. The latter interpretation is more conservative, since such remnants result naturally from stellar evolution, although runaway merging leading to the formation of a black hole may also occur for some range of initial conditions. We conclude that no central massive object is required to explain the observational data, although we cannot conclusively exclude such an object at the level of ~500-1000 M. Our findings are unchanged when we reduce the assumed neutron star retention fraction in our simulations from 100% to 0%.
Keyword Black hole physics
Globular clusters : individual (M15)
Methods : n-body simulations
Stellar dynamics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Mathematics and Physics
 
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