EDP Sciences
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Volume 399, Number 1, February III 2003
Page(s) 113 - 120
Section Stellar clusters and associations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021920

A&A 399, 113-120 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021920

Ruprecht 3: An old star cluster remnant?

D. B. Pavani1, E. Bica1, A. V. Ahumada2 and J. J. Clariá2

1  Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, IF, CP 15051, Porto Alegre 01501-970, RS, Brasil
2  Observatorio Astronómico de Córdoba, Laprida, 854, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina
    e-mail: andrea@mail.oac.uncor.edu; claria@mail.oac.uncor.edu

(Received 14 October 2002 / Accepted 20 November 2002)

2MASS J and H photometry and integrated spectroscopy are employed to study the nature of the poorly populated compact concentration of stars Ruprecht 3, which was previously catalogued as an open cluster. The integrated spectrum remarkably resembles that of a moderately metal-rich globular cluster. The distribution of the object stars in the colour-magnitude diagram is compatible with that of a $1.5 \pm 0.5$ Gyr open cluster or older, depending on whether the bluer stars are interpreted as turnoff stars or blue stragglers, respectively. We derive for the object a distance from the Sun $d_{\odot} = 0.72 ^{+0.04}_{-0.03}$ kpc and a colour excess E(B-V) = 0.04. Although a globular cluster remnant cannot be ruled out, the integrated spectrum resemblance to that of a globular cluster probably reflects a stochastic effect owing to the few brighter stars. The structural and photometric properties of Ruprecht 3 are compatible with what would be expected for an intermediate-age open cluster remnant.

Key words: Galaxy: open clusters and stellar associations: general -- open clusters and associations: individual: Ruprecht 3 -- methods: observational -- techniques: spectroscopic

Offprint request: D. B. Pavani, dpavani@if.ufrgs.br

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