Paolo Bianchini

Paolo Bianchini
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Paolo Bianchini

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Astrophysics of Galaxies (8)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Paolo Bianchini

The internal dynamics of globular clusters (GCs) is strongly affected by two-body interactions that bring the systems to a state of partial energy equipartition. Using a set of Monte Carlo clusters simulations, we investigate the role of the onset of energy equipartition in shaping the mass-to-light ratio (M/L) in GCs. Our simulations show that the M/L profiles cannot be considered constant and their specific shape strongly depends on the dynamical age of the clusters. Read More

The detection of intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) in Galactic globular clusters (GCs) has so far been controversial. In order to characterize the effectiveness of integrated-light spectroscopy through integral field units, we analyze realistic mock data generated from state-of-the-art Monte Carlo simulations of GCs with a central IMBH, considering different setups and conditions varying IMBH mass, cluster distance, and accuracy in determination of the center. The mock observations are modeled with isotropic Jeans models to assess the success rate in identifying the IMBH presence, which we find to be primarily dependent on IMBH mass. Read More

Nuclear Star Clusters (NSCs) are commonly observed in the centres of most galactic nuclei, including our own Milky Way. While their study can reveal important information about the build-up of the innermost regions of galaxies, the physical processes that regulate their formation are still poorly understood. NSCs might have been formed through gas infall and subsequent in situ star formation, and/or through the infall and merging of multiple star clusters into the centre of the galaxy. Read More

We describe the dynamical evolution of a unique type of dark star cluster model in which the majority of the cluster mass at Hubble time is dominated by an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH). We analyzed results from about 2000 star cluster models (Survey Database I) simulated using the Monte-Carlo code MOCCA and identified these dark star cluster models. Taking one of these models, we apply the method of simulating realistic "mock observations" by utilizing the COCOA and SISCO codes to obtain the photometric and kinematic observational properties of the dark star cluster model at 12 Gyr. Read More

The detection of intermediate mass black holes in the centres of globular clusters is highly controversial, as complementary observational methods often deliver significantly different results. In order to understand these discrepancies, we develop a procedure to simulate integral field unit (IFU) observations of globular clusters: Simulating IFU Star Cluster Observations (SISCO). The input of our software are realistic dynamical models of globular clusters that are then converted in a spectral data cube. Read More

The detection of intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) in globular clusters has been hotly debated, with different observational methods delivering different outcomes for the same object. In order to understand these discrepancies, we construct detailed mock integral field spectroscopy (IFU) observations of globular clusters, starting from realistic Monte Carlo cluster simulations. The output is a data cube of spectra in a given field-of-view that can be analyzed in the same manner as real observations and compared to other (resolved) kinematic measurement methods. Read More

The distinction between globular clusters and dwarf galaxies has been progressively blurred by the recent discoveries of several extended star clusters, with size (20-30 pc) and luminosity (-6 < Mv < -2) comparable to the one of faint dwarf spheroidals. In order to explain their sparse structure, it has been suggested that they formed as star clusters in dwarf galaxy satellites that later accreted onto the Milky Way. If these clusters form in the centre of dwarf galaxies, they evolve in a tidally-compressive environment where the contribution of the tides to the virial balance can become significant, and lead to a super-virial state and subsequent expansion of the cluster, once removed. Read More

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has proven to be uniquely suited for the measurement of proper motions (PMs) of stars and galaxies in the nearby Universe. Here we summarize the main results and ongoing studies of the HSTPROMO collaboration, which over the past decade has executed some two dozen observational and theoretical HST projects on this topic. This is continuing to revolutionize our dynamical understanding of many objects, including: globular clusters; young star clusters; stars and stellar streams in the Milky Way halo; Local Group galaxies, including dwarf satellite galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, and the Andromeda galaxy; and AGN Black Hole Jets. Read More

Internal rotation is considered to play a major role in determining the structure and dynamics of some globular clusters. We present a dynamical analysis of the photometry and three-dimensional kinematics of 47 Tuc and omega Cen, by means of a new family of self-consistent axisymmetric rotating models. The combined use of line-of-sight velocities and proper motions allows us to obtain a global description of the internal dynamical structure of the objects together with an estimate of their dynamical distances. Read More