We have searched for [O III] 5007 emission in high-resolution spectroscopic data from FLAMES/GIRAFFE Very Large Telescope observations of 174 massive globular clusters (GCs) in NGC 4472. No planetary nebulae (PNe) are observed in these clusters, constraining the number of PNe per bolometric luminosity, α < 0.8 × 10-7 PN/L ⊙. This is significantly lower than the rate predicted from stellar evolution, if all stars produce PNe. Comparing our results to populations of PNe in galaxies, we find most galaxies have a higher α than these GCs (more PNe per bolometric luminosity—though some massive early-type galaxies do have similarly low α). The low α required in these GCs suggests that the number of PNe per bolometric luminosity does not increase strongly with decreasing mass or metallicity of the stellar population. We find no evidence for correlations between the presence of known GC PNe and either the presence of low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) or the stellar interaction rates in the GCs.
|State||Published - Jun 2012|