Journal Article

Recurrent gas accretion by massive star clusters, multiple stellar populations and mass thresholds for spheroidal stellar systems

Jan Pflamm-Altenburg and Pavel Kroupa

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 397, issue 1, pages 488-494
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14954.x
Recurrent gas accretion by massive star clusters, multiple stellar populations and mass thresholds for spheroidal stellar systems

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We explore the gravitational influence of pressure-supported stellar systems on the internal density distribution of a gaseous environment. We conclude that compact massive star clusters with masses ≳106 M act as cloud condensation nuclei and are able to accrete gas recurrently from a warm interstellar medium which may cause further star formation events and account for multiple stellar populations in the most massive globular and nuclear star clusters. The same analytical arguments can be used to decide whether an arbitrary spherical stellar system is able to keep warm or hot interstellar material or not. These mass thresholds coincide with transition masses between pressure supported galaxies of different morphological types.

Keywords: ISM: general; ISM: kinematics and dynamics; globular clusters: general; globular clusters: individual: ω Cen; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: star clusters

Journal Article.  5974 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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