SCYON Abstract

Received on March 22 2002

The Unique History of the Globular Cluster omega Centauri

AuthorsOleg Y. Gnedin1, HongSheng Zhao2, J. E. Pringle1, 2, S. Michael Fall1, Mario Livio1, and Georges Meylan1
Affiliation1 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
2 Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
Accepted to ApJ Letters


Using current observational data and simple dynamical modeling, we demonstrate that omega Cen is not special among the Galactic globular clusters in its ability to produce and retain the heavy elements dispersed in the AGB phase of stellar evolution. The multiple stellar populations observed in omega Cen cannot be explained if it had formed as an isolated star cluster. The formation within a progenitor galaxy of the Milky Way is more likely, although the unique properties of omega Cen still remain a mystery.