The Astronomical Journal, 122:1251, 2001. Paper Website abstract bibtex
We examine the globular cluster systems (GCSs) of a sample of 34 S0 galaxies from a WFPC2 snapshot survey in the V and I bands. Of these 34 galaxies, 29 have measurable globular cluster systems. The mean color of the GCSs of individual galaxies vary from V-I=0.85 mag to V-I=1.17 mag. The average color of GCSs in all 29 S0 galaxies, V-I=1.00+/-0.07 mag, is similar to the value of V-I=1.04+/-0.04 derived for ellipticals in a companion paper. The mean metallicity of a cluster system is correlated to the luminosity (or mass) of the host galaxy, but it is not dependent on the Hubble type. Our measurements of the local specific frequency, on the other hand, confirm that the cluster formation efficiency is a function of Hubble type. The mean local specific frequency of our sample within the WFPC2 field of view is 1.0+/-0.6, lower than SN(Local)=2.4+/-1.8 derived for ellipticals in a similar analysis. Although we are able to confirm a bimodal color distribution in only one galaxy from the shallow ``snapshot'' images analyzed in this paper, statistical tests suggest that 10%-20% of S0s are bimodal at the present level of photometric accuracy. There are no significant trends in GCS properties with membership or location of the S0 host in a galaxy cluster. We have measured the turnover luminosity of the globular cluster luminosity function (GCLF) for the richest few GCSs and find the GCLF distances to be in agreement with other estimates. The globular clusters in S0 galaxies have average half-light radii of ~2.6 pc, which is similar to that of other galaxies, including our own. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.