Globular clusters systems and their host dark matter halos

Dr. Lee Spitler


In the Λ-CDM galaxy formation paradigm, the star formation history of a galaxy is coupled to the total mass of its dark matter halo through processes like galaxy-galaxy merging, satellite accretion, and gas retention. Globular cluster formation is known to coincide with strong star formation events in the early Universe. To develop an accurate model of galaxy formation, the relationship between such systems and their hosting dark matter halos must be understood. Employing weak gravitational lensing galaxy mass analysis, we have discovered that the number of globular clusters in a given galaxy is directly proportional to its total dark matter halo mass. This result holds in both dwarf and giant ellipticals, spirals and in all types of galaxy environments. I will present these observations and initiate a discussion on the implications for scenarios of globular cluster system formation and evolution.