Evolution of star cluster systems in isolated galaxies: First results from direct N-body simulations

L. J. Rossi, K. Bekki, J. R. Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of star clusters is largely affected by the tidal field generated by the host galaxy. It is thus in principle expected that under the assumption of a 'universal' initial cluster mass function the properties of the evolved present-day mass function of star cluster systems should show a dependence on the properties of the galactic environment in which they evolve. To explore this expectation, a sophisticated model of the tidal field is required in order to study the evolution of star cluster systems in realistic galaxies. Along these lines, in this work we first describe a method developed for coupling N-body simulations of galaxies and star clusters. We then generate a data base of galaxy models along the Hubble sequence and calibrate evolutionary equations to the results of direct N-body simulations of star clusters in order to predict the clusters' mass evolution as function of the galactic environment. We finally apply our methods to explore the properties of evolved 'universal' initial cluster mass functions and any dependence on the host galaxy morphology and mass distribution. The preliminary results show that an initial power-law distribution of the masses 'universally' evolves into a lognormal distribution, with the properties correlated with the stellar mass and stellar mass density of the host galaxy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberstw1827
Pages (from-to)2861-2877
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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