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Title: Constraints on helium enhancement in the globular cluster M4 (NGC 6121): The horizontal branch test

Recent pieces of evidence have revealed that most, and possibly all, globular star clusters are composed of groups of stars that formed in multiple episodes with different chemical compositions. In this sense, it has also been argued that variations in the initial helium abundance (Y) from one population to the next are also the rule, rather than the exception. In the case of the metal-intermediate globular cluster M4 (NGC 6121), recent high-resolution spectroscopic observations of blue horizontal branch (HB) stars (i.e., HB stars hotter than the RR Lyrae instability strip) suggest that a large fraction of blue HB stars are second-generation stars formed with high helium abundances. In this paper, we test this scenario by using recent photometric and spectroscopic data together with theoretical evolutionary computations for different Y values. Comparing the photometric data with the theoretically derived color-magnitude diagrams, we find that the bulk of the blue HB stars in M4 have ΔY ≲ 0.01 with respect to the cluster's red HB stars (i.e., HB stars cooler than the RR Lyrae strip)—a result which is corroborated by comparison with spectroscopically derived gravities and temperatures, which also favor little He enhancement. However, the possible existence of a minority population onmore » the blue HB of the cluster with a significant He enhancement level is also discussed.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Departamento de Física, 59072-970 Natal, RN (Brazil)
  2. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Centro de Astroingeniería, Av. Vicuña Mackena 4860, 782-0436 Macul, Santiago (Chile)
  3. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Instituto de Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Av. Vicuña Mackena 4860, 782-0436 Macul, Santiago (Chile)
  4. Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Departamento de Física, Av. José Pedro Alessandri 774, Santiago (Chile)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351422
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 782; 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; CALCULATION METHODS; COLOR; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; EXCEPTIONS; GRAVITATION; HEAT EXCHANGERS; HELIUM; INSTABILITY; LIMITING VALUES; METALS; RESOLUTION; STAR CLUSTERS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS