Clearing the hurdle: The mass of globular cluster systems as a function of host galaxy mass

by   Gwendolyn M. Eadie, et al.

Current observational evidence suggests that all large galaxies contain globular clusters (GCs), while the smallest galaxies do not. Over what galaxy mass range does the transition from GCs to no GCs occur? We investigate this question using galaxies in the Local Group, nearby dwarf galaxies, and galaxies in the Virgo Cluster Survey. We consider four types of statistical models: (1) logistic regression to model the probability that a galaxy of stellar mass M_⋆ has any number of GCs; (2) Poisson regression to model the number of GCs versus M_⋆, (3) linear regression to model the relation between GC system mass (logM_gcs) and host galaxy mass (logM_⋆), and (4) a Bayesian lognormal hurdle model of the GC system mass as a function of galaxy stellar mass for the entire data sample. From the logistic regression, we find that the 50 M_⋆=10^6.8M_⊙. From post-fit diagnostics, we find that Poisson regression is an inappropriate description of the data. Ultimately, we find that the Bayesian lognormal hurdle model, which is able to describe how the mass of the GC system varies with M_⋆ even in the presence of many galaxies with no GCs, is the most appropriate model over the range of our data. In an Appendix, we also present photometry for the little-known GC in the Local Group dwarf Ursa Major II.


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