Vol 13, No 4

Metal abundance and kinematical properties of the M81 globular cluster system

Jun Ma, Zhen-Yu Wu, Tian-Meng Zhang, Song Wang, Zhou Fan, Jiang-Hua Wu, Hu Zou, Cui-Hua Du, Xu Zhou, Qi-Rong Yuan


Abstract We present metal abundance properties of 144 globular clusters associated with M81. These globulars represent the largest globular cluster sample in M81 till now. Our main results are: the distribution of metallicities is bimodal, with metallicity peaks at [Fe/H] ≈ −1.51 and −0.58, and the metal-poor globular clusters tend to be less spatially concentrated than the metal-rich ones; the metal-rich globular clusters in M81 do not demonstrate a centrally concentrated spatial distribution like the metal-rich ones in M31 do; like our Galaxy and M31, the globular clusters in M81 have a small radial metallicity gradient. These results are consistent with those obtained from a small sample of M81 globular clusters. In addition, this paper shows that there is evidence that a strong rotation of the M81 globular cluster system around the minor axis exists, and that rotation is present in the metal-rich globular cluster subsample, but the metal-poor globular cluster subsample shows no evidence of rotation. The most significant difference between the rotation of the metal-rich and metal-poor globular clusters occurs at intermediate projected galactocentric radii. Our results confirm the conclusion of Schroder et al. that M81’s metal-rich globular clusters at intermediate projected radii are associated with a thick disk of M81.


Keywords galaxies: individual (M81) — galaxies: star clusters — globular clusters: general

Full Text

  • There are currently no refbacks.