The globular cluster system of the young elliptical NGC 6702

Antonis Georgakakis, DA Forbes, J Brodie

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5 Citations (Scopus)


We study the globular cluster (GC) system of the dust-lane elliptical galaxy NGC 6702, using B-, V- and I-band imaging observations carried out at the Keck telescope. This galaxy has a spectroscopic age of approximate to2 Gyr suggesting recent star formation. We find strong evidence for a bimodal GC colour distribution, with the blue peak having a colour similar to that of the Galactic halo GCs. Assuming that the blue GCs are indeed old and metal-poor, we estimate an age of 2-5 Gyr and supersolar metallicity for the red GC subpopulation. Despite the large uncertainties, this is in reasonable agreement with the spectroscopic galaxy age. Additionally, we estimate a specific frequency of S-N = 2.3 +/- 1.1 for NGC 6702. We predict that passive evolution of NGC 6702 will further increase its specific frequency to S(N)approximate to2.7 within 10 Gyr, in closer agreement to that of typical present-day ellipticals. We also discuss evidence that the merger/accretion event that took place a few Gyr ago involved a high gas fraction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-796
Number of pages12
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2001


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