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Title: AGB sodium abundances in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae (NGC 104)

A recent analysis comparing the [Na/Fe] distributions of red giant branch (RGB) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6752 found that the ratio of Na-poor to Na-rich stars changes from 30:70 on the RGB to 100:0 on the AGB. The surprising paucity of Na-rich stars on the AGB in NGC 6752 warrants additional investigations to determine if the failure of a significant fraction of stars to ascend the AGB is an attribute common to all globular clusters. Therefore, we present radial velocities, [Fe/H], and [Na/Fe] abundances for 35 AGB stars in the Galactic globular cluster 47 Tucanae (47 Tuc; NGC 104), and compare the AGB [Na/Fe] distribution with a similar RGB sample published previously. The abundances and velocities were derived from high-resolution spectra obtained with the Michigan/Magellan Fiber System and MSpec spectrograph on the Magellan–Clay 6.5 m telescope. We find the average heliocentric radial velocity and [Fe/H] values to be 〈RV{sub helio.}〉 = −18.56 km s{sup −1} (σ = 10.21 km s{sup −1}) and 〈[Fe/H]〉 = −0.68 (σ = 0.08), respectively, in agreement with previous literature estimates. The average [Na/Fe] abundance is 0.12 dex lower in the 47 Tuc AGB sample compared to themore » RGB sample, and the ratio of Na-poor to Na-rich stars is 63:37 on the AGB and 45:55 on the RGB. However, in contrast to NGC 6752, the two 47 Tuc populations have nearly identical [Na/Fe] dispersion and interquartile range values. The data presented here suggest that only a small fraction (≲20%) of Na-rich stars in 47 Tuc may fail to ascend the AGB, which is a similar result to that observed in M13. Regardless of the cause for the lower average [Na/Fe] abundance in AGB stars, we find that Na-poor stars and at least some Na-rich stars in 47 Tuc evolve through the early AGB phase. The contrasting behavior of Na-rich stars in 47 Tuc and NGC 6752 suggests that the RGB [Na/Fe] abundance alone is insufficient for predicting if a star will ascend the AGB.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2] ;
  1. Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS-15, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  2. Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Alan Turing Building, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22342113
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 149; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; CLAYS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DATA; DISPERSIONS; DISTRIBUTION; FIBERS; RADIAL VELOCITY; RED GIANT STARS; RESOLUTION; SPECTRA; STARS; TELESCOPES