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The chemical composition of globular clusters throughout the Local Group

Event details of Soeren Larsen (Radboud)
Date 23 January 2019
Time 11:00 -12:00

I will discuss our results on the detailed chemistry of globular clusters (GCs) in Local Group galaxies. This work is based on a combination of integrated-light spectroscopy at high resolution and resolved imaging with HST in colour combinations that are sensitive to light-element abundance variations. Through the resolved imaging studies, it is now clear that the abundance anomalies that are the hallmark of multiple stellar populations are not restricted to old GCs, but are also found in LMC/SMC clusters as young as 2 Gyrs. This rules out formation mechanisms that were unique to the high redshift Universe. More generally, we find that GCs in dwarfs are, on average, more metal-poor than those in larger galaxies, although no clusters more metal-poor than [Fe/H]\approx-2.5 have been found so far. Overall, a large fraction of the most metal-poor stars in dwarf galaxies tend to belong to GCs. This has important implications for scenarios that invoke heavy cluster mass loss to account for the large fractions of enriched "second-generation" stars in GCs, as well as for globular cluster disruption and its contribution to the field star populations in halos in general.