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Paper: Age Dating Old Globular Clusters in Early-type Galaxies
Volume: 211, Massive Stellar Clusters
Page: 157
Authors: Kissler-Patig, M.
Abstract: Various methods for age dating globular clusters in ellipticals are presented. We first present spectroscopy of individual globular clusters (feasible with the advent of the 10m-class telescopes), and the measurement of Balmer line indices. Second, we discuss the photometry of globular cluster sub-populations and the mean age determination by comparison with population synthesis models. The first method is time consuming but precise once spectra with high enough signal to noise are obtained. One caveat, however, is the definition of the Balmer line indices that often include metal features and are themselves not independent of metallicity. The second method requires the measurement of two photometric quantities that depend differently from age and metallicity. The combination of both allows to break the age-metallicity degeneracy present in broad-band colors. Near-infrared colors can strongly complement the optical studies in this respect. Overall it is, however, true that the older a star cluster, the harder it is to determine its precise age. Population synthesis models also need to be further improved, and the models compared here show significant differences.
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