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    Recent studies of nearby globular clusters have discovered excess dark mass in their cores, apparently in an extended distribution, and simulations indicate that this mass is composed mostly of white dwarfs (respectively stellar-mass black holes) in clusters that are core collapsed (respectively with a flatter core). We perform mass-anisotropy modelling of the closest globular cluster, M4, with intermediate slope for the inner stellar density. We use proper motion data from Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) and from observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. We extract the mass profile employing Bayesian Jeans modelling, and check our fits with realistic mock data. Our analyses return isotropic motions in the cluster core and tangential motions (β ≈ −0.4 ± 0.1) in the outskirts. We also robustly measure a dark central mass of roughly $800\pm 300 \, \rm M_\odot$ , but it is not possible to distinguish between a point-like source, such as an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH), and a dark population of stellar remnants of extent ${\approx} 0.016\, {\rm pc} \simeq 3300\, {\rm au}$ . However, when removing a high-velocity star from the cluster centre, the same mass excess is found, but more extended (${\sim} 0.034\, {\rm pc} \approx 7000\, {\rm au}$ ).more »We use Monte Carlo N-body models of M4 to interpret the second outcome, and find that our excess mass is not sufficiently extended to be confidently associated with a dark population of remnants. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of these two scenarios (i.e. IMBH versus remnants), and propose new observations that could help to better grasp the complex dynamics in M4’s core.

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  2. Abstract A number of studies based on the data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) GO-13297 program “HST Legacy Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters: Shedding UV Light on Their Populations and Formation” have investigated the photometric properties of a large sample of Galactic globular clusters and revolutionized our understanding of their stellar populations. In this paper, we expand upon previous studies by focusing our attention on the stellar clusters’ internal kinematics. We computed proper motions for stars in 56 globular clusters and one open cluster by combining the GO-13297 images with archival HST data. The astrophotometric catalogs released with this paper represent the most complete and homogeneous collection of proper motions of stars in the cores of stellar clusters to date, and expand the information provided by the current (and future) Gaia data releases to much fainter stars and into the crowded central regions. We also census the general kinematic properties of stellar clusters by computing the velocity dispersion and anisotropy radial profiles of their bright members. We study the dependence on concentration and relaxation time, and derive dynamical distances. Finally, we present an in-depth kinematic analysis of the globular cluster NGC 5904.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023