AWFC3 study of globular clusters in NGC 4150: An early-type minor merger

Sugata Kaviraj, R. Mark Crockett, Bradley C. Whitmore, Josesph Silk, Robert W. O'Connell, Rogier Windhorst, Max Mutchler, Marina Rejkuba, Sukyoung Yi, Jay A. Frogel, Daniela Calzetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We combine near-ultraviolet (NUV; 2250 Å) and optical (U, B, V, I) imaging from the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), on-board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), to study the globular cluster (GC) population in NGC 4150, a sub-L* (M B ~-18.48 mag) early-type minor-merger remnant in the Coma I cloud. We use broad-band NUV-optical photometry from the WFC3 to estimate individual ages, metallicities, masses and line-of-sight extinctions [E(B - V)] for 63 bright (M V < -5 mag) GCs in this galaxy. In addition to a small GC population with ages greater than 10 Gyr, we find a dominant population of clusters with ages centred around 6 Gyr, consistent with the expected peak of stellar mass assembly in faint early types residing in lowdensity environments. The old and intermediate-age GCs in NGC 4150 are metal poor, with metallicities less than 0.1 Z, and reside in regions of low extinction [E(B - V) < 0.05 mag]. We also find a population of young, metal-rich (Z > 0.3 Z) clusters that have formed within the last Gyr and reside in relatively dusty [E(B - V) > 0.3 mag] regions that are coincident with the part of the galaxy core that hosts significant recent star formation. Cluster disruption models (in which ~80-90 per cent of objects younger than a few ×10 8 yr dissolve every dex in time) suggest that the bulk of these young clusters are a transient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L96-L100
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: individual: NGC 4150
  • Galaxies: interactions
  • Galaxies: star clusters: general
  • Ultraviolet: galaxies
  • cD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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