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For refcode 1991A&A...241..399W:
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1991A&A...241..399W The globular cluster system around NGC 1399 S. Wagner, T. Richtler and U. Hopp Landessternwarte, Konigstuhl, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany; E-Mail: W08 @DHDURZ1 (BITNET) Sternwarte der Universitat Bonn, Auf dem Hugel 71, D-5300 Bonn, Germany Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie, Konigstuhl, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany; E-Mail: HOPP @DHDMPI5V (BITNET) Received August 11, 1989; accepted September 22, 1990 Abstract. We present an investigation of the globular cluster system surrounding NGC 1399, the central galaxy of the Fornax cluster. CCD frames taken in B and V were used to search for globular cluster candidates in a radial range from 10" to 390". Within this range 80% of the globular cluster population is situated. By determining in detail the radial variation of the detection probability we are able to correct for luminosity, colour and position dependent incompleteness. This allows a reliable determination of the density profile even in the centre of the galaxy. The distribution of clusters roughly follow the r^1/4^ law with a slightly larger effective radius than found for the unresolved population of field stars. The difference between the slope of globular clusters and field stars is not as pronounced as in M87, and is largely due to a shallow slope in the central 5 kpc. The total number of globular clusters is 10500 which corresponds to a specific globular cluster frequency of S = 15.4 The mean colour of the cluster system is <B-V> = +0.39m. This is 0.14m bluer than the light of the integrated field stars of NGC 1399. This difference is of the same order as had been found in other galaxies. The colours of the globular clusters do not change with radius. Compared to other galaxies NGC 1399 has one of the reddest globular cluster systems. Differences of the mean colours of different globular cluster systems limits the extent to which luminosity functions of cluster systems can be assumed to be universal. The width of the colour distribution of globular clusters in NGC 1399 is probably as narrow as in the globular cluster system of the Milky Way. We find no radial variations of the luminosity function or the colour distribution and no luminosity dependent colour relations. All these results indicate that the globular cluster system of NGC 1399 is fairly homogeneous. The homogeneity indicates that the majority of the clusters are older than 10^-9^ years. Colour differences are therefore predominantly determined by metallicity effects. From this we conclude that in NGC 1399 [Fe/H] was lower in the proto-globular clusters than in the progenitors of the field stars. Key words: globular clusters - galaxies (NGC 1399) - structure of galaxies - haloes of galaxies
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