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  1. Abstract

    Some Ultra Diffuse Galaxies (UDGs) appear to host exceptionally rich globular cluster (GC) systems compared to normal galaxies of the same stellar mass. After re-examing these claims, we focus on a small sample of UDGs from the literature that have both rich GC systems (NGC >20) and a measured galaxy velocity dispersion. We find that UDGs with more GCs have higher dynamical masses and that GC-rich UDGs are dark matter dominated within their half-light radii. We extrapolate these dynamical masses to derive total halo masses assuming cuspy and cored mass profiles. We find reasonable agreement between halo masses derived from GC numbers (assuming the GC number - halo mass relation) and from cored halo profiles. This suggests that GC-rich UDGs do not follow the standard stellar mass – halo mass relation, occupying overly massive cored halos for their stellar mass. A similar process to that invoked for some Local Group dwarfs, of early quenching, may result in GC-rich UDGs that have failed to form the expected mass of stars in a given halo (and thus giving the appearance of overly an massive halo). Simulations that correctly reproduce the known properties of GC systems associated with UDGs are needed.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    Observational surveys have found that the dynamical masses of ultradiffuse galaxies (UDGs) correlate with the richness of their globular cluster (GC) system. This could be explained if GC-rich galaxies formed in more massive dark matter haloes. We use simulations of galaxies and their GC systems from the E-MOSAICS project to test whether the simulations reproduce such a trend. We find that GC-rich simulated galaxies in galaxy groups have enclosed masses that are consistent with the dynamical masses of observed GC-rich UDGs. However, simulated GC-poor galaxies in galaxy groups have higher enclosed masses than those observed. We argue that GC-poor UDGs with low stellar velocity dispersions are discs observed nearly face on, such that their true mass is underestimated by observations. Using the simulations, we show that galactic star formation conditions resulting in dispersion-supported stellar systems also leads to efficient GC formation. Conversely, conditions leading to rotationally supported discs lead to inefficient GC formation. This result may explain why early-type galaxies typically have richer GC systems than late-type galaxies. This is also supported by comparisons of stellar axis ratios and GC-specific frequencies in observed dwarf galaxy samples, which show GC-rich systems are consistent with being spheroidal, while GC-poor systems are consistent with being discs. Therefore, particularly for GC-poor galaxies, rotation should be included in dynamical mass measurements from stellar dynamics.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT

    We use spectral energy distribution fitting to place constraints on the stellar populations of 59 ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) in the low-to-moderate density fields of the MATLAS survey. We use the routine prospector, coupled with archival data in the optical from the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey, and near- and mid-infrared imaging from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, to recover the stellar masses, ages, metallicities, and star formation time-scales of the UDGs. We find that a subsample of the UDGs lies within the scatter of the mass–metallicity relation (MZR) for local classical dwarfs. However, another subsample is more metal-poor, being consistent with the evolving MZR at high redshift. We investigate UDG positioning trends in the mass–metallicity plane as a function of surface brightness, effective radius, axis ratio, local volume density, mass-weighted age, star formation time-scale, globular cluster (GC) counts, and GC specific frequency. We find that our sample of UDGs can be separated into two main classes: Class A: comprised of UDGs with lower stellar masses, prolonged star formation histories (SFHs), more elongated, inhabiting less dense environments, hosting fewer GCs, younger, consistent with the classical dwarf MZR, and fainter. Class B: UDGs with higher stellar masses, rapid SFHs, rounder, inhabiting the densest of our probed environments, hosting on average the most numerous GC systems, older, consistent with the high-redshift MZR (i.e. consistent with early-quenching), and brighter. The combination of these properties suggests that UDGs of Class A are consistent with a ‘puffed-up dwarf’ formation scenario, while UDGs of Class B seem to be better explained by ‘failed galaxy’ scenarios.

     
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  4. ABSTRACT

    We derive the stellar population parameters of 11 quiescent ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) from Keck/KCWI data. We supplement these with 14 literature UDGs, creating the largest spectroscopic sample of UDGs to date (25). We find a strong relationship between their α-enhancement and their star formation histories: UDGs that formed on very short time-scales have elevated [Mg/Fe] abundance ratios, whereas those forming over extended periods present lower values. Those forming earlier and faster are overall found in high-density environments, being mostly early infalls into the cluster. No other strong trends are found with infall times. We analyse the stellar mass–metallicity, age–metallicity, and [Mg/Fe]–metallicity relations of the UDGs, comparing them to other types of low mass galaxies. Overall, UDGs scatter around the established stellar mass–metallicity relations of classical dwarfs. We find that GC-rich UDGs have intermediate-to-old ages, but previously reported trends of galaxy metallicity and GC richness are not reproduced with this spectroscopic sample due to the existence of GC-rich UDGs with elevated metallicities. In addition, we also find that a small fraction of UDGs could be ‘failed-galaxies’, supported by their GC richness, high alpha-abundance, fast formation time-scales and that they follow the mass–metallicity relation of z ∼2 galaxies. Finally, we also compare our observations to simulated UDGs. We caution that there is not a single simulation that can produce the diverse UDG properties simultaneously, in particular the low metallicity failed galaxy like UDGs.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    Compact elliptical (cE) galaxies remain an elusively difficult galaxy class to study. Recent observations have suggested that isolated and host-associated cEs have different formation pathways, while simulation studies have also shown different pathways can lead to a cE galaxy. However, a solid link has not been established, and the relative contributions of each pathway in a cosmological context remains unknown. Here, we combine a spatially resolved observational sample of cEs taken from the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral field spectrograph Galaxy Survey with a matched sample of galaxies within the IllustrisTNG cosmological simulation to establish an overall picture of how these galaxies form. The observed cEs located near a host galaxy appear redder, smaller, and older than isolated cEs, supporting previous evidence for multiple formation pathways. Tracing the simulated cEs back through time, we find two main formation pathways; 32 ± 5 per cent formed via the stripping of a spiral galaxy by a larger host galaxy, while 68 ± 4 per cent formed through a gradual build-up of stellar mass in isolated environments. We confirm that cEs in different environments do indeed form via different pathways, with all isolated cEs in our sample having formed via in situ formation (i.e. none were ejected from a previous host), and 77 ± 6 per cent of host-associated cEs having formed via tidal stripping. Separating them by their formation pathway, we are able to reproduce the observed differences between isolated and host-associated cEs, showing that these differences can be fully explained by the different formation pathways dominating in each environment.

     
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  6. ABSTRACT

    Using early-release data from the JWST, Mowla et al. and Claeyssens et al. recently measured various properties for gravitationally lensed compact sources (‘sparkles’) around the ‘Sparkler’ galaxy at a redshift of 1.378 (a look-back time of 9.1 Gyr). Here, we focus on the Mowla et al. as they were able to break the age-metallicity degeneracy and derive independent ages, metallicities, and extinctions for each source. They identified five metal-rich, old Globular cluster (GC) candidates (with formation ages up to ∼13 Gyr). We examine the age–metallicity relation (AMR) for the GC candidates and other Sparkler compact sources. The Sparkler galaxy, which has a current estimated stellar mass of 109 M⊙, is compared to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), the disrupted dwarf galaxy Gaia–Enceladus and the Milky Way (MW). The Sparkler galaxy appears to have undergone very rapid chemical enrichment in the first few hundred Myr after formation, with its GC candidates similar to those of the MW’s metal-rich subpopulation. We also compare the Sparkler to theoretical AMRs and formation ages from the E-MOSAICS simulation, finding the early formation age of its GCs to be in some tension with these predictions for MW-like galaxies. The metallicity of the Sparkler’s star-forming regions are more akin to a galaxy of stellar mass ≥ 1010.5 M⊙, that is, at the top end of the expected mass growth over 9.1 Gyr of cosmic time. We conclude that the Sparkler galaxy may represent a progenitor of a MW-like galaxy, even including the ongoing accretion of a satellite galaxy.

     
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  7. Abstract

    We present new radial velocity measurements from the Magellan and the Anglo-Australian Telescopes for 175 previously known and 121 newly confirmed globular clusters (GCs) around NGC 5128, the nearest accessible massive early-type galaxy atD= 3.8 Mpc. Remarkably, 28 of these newly confirmed GCs are at projected radii>50(≳54 kpc), extending to ∼130 kpc, in the outer halo where few GCs had been confirmed in previous work. We identify several subsets of GCs that spatially trace halo substructures that are visible in red giant branch star maps of the galaxy. In some cases, these subsets of GCs are kinematically cold, and may be directly associated with and originate from these specific stellar substructures. From a combined kinematic sample of 645 GCs, we see evidence for coherent rotation at all radii, with a higher rotation amplitude for the metal-rich GC subpopulation. Using the tracer mass estimator, we measure a total enclosed mass of 2.5 ± 0.3 × 1012Mwithin ∼120 kpc, an estimate that will be sharpened with forthcoming dynamical modeling. The combined power of stellar mapping and GC kinematics makes NGC 5128 an ongoing keystone for understanding galaxy assembly at mass scales inaccessible in the Local Group.

     
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  8. ABSTRACT

    The globular cluster (GC) systems of low-mass late-type galaxies, such as NGC 2403, have been poorly studied to date. As a low mass galaxy (M*  = 7 × 109 M⊙), cosmological simulations predict NGC 2403 to contain few, if any, accreted GCs. It is also isolated, with a remarkably undisturbed HI disc. Based on candidates from the literature, Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Hyper Suprime-Cam imaging, we selected several GCs for follow-up spectroscopy using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager. From their radial velocities and other properties, we identify eight bona-fide GCs associated with either the inner halo or the disc of this bulgeless galaxy. A stellar population analysis suggests a wide range of GC ages from shortly after the big bang until the present day. We find all of the old GCs to be metal-poor with [Fe/H] ≤ −1. The age–metallicity relation for the observed GCs suggests that they were formed over many Gyr from gas with a low effective yield, similar to that observed in the SMC. Outflows of enriched material may have contributed to the low yield. With a total system of ∼50 GCs expected, our study is the first step in fully mapping the star cluster history of NGC 2403 in both space and time.

     
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  9. Abstract The dense central regions of tidally disrupted galaxies can survive as ultracompact dwarfs (UCDs) that hide among the luminous globular clusters (GCs) in the halo of massive galaxies. An exciting confirmation of this model is the detection of overmassive black holes in the centers of some UCDs, which also lead to elevated dynamical mass-to-light ratios ( M / L dyn ). Here we present new high-resolution spectroscopic observations of 321 luminous GC candidates in the massive galaxy NGC 5128/Centaurus A. Using these data we confirm 27 new luminous GCs, and measure velocity dispersions for 57 luminous GCs (with g -band luminosities between 2.5 × 10 5 and 2.5 × 10 7 L ⊙ ), of which 48 are new measurements. Combining these data with size measurements from Gaia, we determine the M / L dyn for all 57 luminous GCs. We see a clear bimodality in the M / L dyn distribution, with a population of normal GCs with mean M / L dyn = 1.51 ± 0.31, and a second population of ∼20 GCs with elevated mean M / L dyn = 2.68 ± 0.22. We show that black holes with masses ∼4%–18% of the luminous GCs can explain the elevated mass-to-light ratios. Hence, it is plausible that the NGC 5128 sources with elevated M / L dyn are mostly stripped galaxy nuclei that contain massive central black holes, though future high spatial resolution observations are necessary to confirm this hypothesis for individual sources. We also present a detailed discussion of an extreme outlier, VHH81-01 , one of the largest and most massive GC in NGC 5128, making it an exceptionally strong candidate to be a tidally stripped nucleus. 
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  10. ABSTRACT

    We study the present-day rotational velocity (Vrot) and velocity dispersion (σ) profiles of the globular cluster (GC) systems in a sample of 50 lenticular (S0) galaxies from the E-MOSAICS galaxy formation simulations. We find that $82{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the galaxies have GCs that are rotating along the photometric major axis of the galaxy (aligned), while the remaining $18{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the galaxies do not (misaligned). This is generally consistent with the observations from the SLUGGS survey. For the aligned galaxies, classified as peaked and outwardly decreasing ($49{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$), flat ($24{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$), and increasing ($27{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) based on the Vrot/σ profiles out to large radii, we do not find any clear correlation between these present-day Vrot/σ profiles of the GCs and the past merger histories of the S0 galaxies, unlike in previous simulations of galaxy stars. For just over half of the misaligned galaxies, we find that the GC misalignment is the result of a major merger within the last $10\, \mathrm{Gyr}$ so that the ex-situ GCs are misaligned by an angle between 0° (co-rotation) and 180° (counter-rotation), with respect to the in situ GCs, depending on the orbital configuration of the merging galaxies. For the remaining misaligned galaxies, we suggest that the in situ metal-poor GCs, formed at early times, have undergone more frequent kinematic perturbations than the in situ metal-rich GCs. We also find that the GCs accreted early and the in situ GCs are predominantly located within 0.2 virial radii (R200) from the centre of galaxies in 3D phase-space diagrams.

     
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