EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 437, Number 3, July III 2005
Page(s) 1017 - 1021
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042306

A&A 437, 1017-1021 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042306

RR Lyrae variables in Galactic globular clusters

V. The case of M 3 pulsators
M. Castellani1, V. Castellani1, 2 and S. Cassisi3

1  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone, Italy
    e-mail: m.castellani@mporzio.astro.it
2  INFN Sezione di Ferrara,via Paradiso 12, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
3  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo, via Maggini, 00174 Teramo, Italy

(Received 22 October 2004 / Accepted 21 April 2005)

We use our synthetic Horizontal Branch (HB) procedure to approach the often debated problem of how adequate canonical HB stellar models are to account for the observed peaked distribution of RR Lyrae fundamentalised periods in the globular cluster M 3. We find that by assuming a suitable bimodal mass distribution, canonical models do account for the observed period distribution. In particular, the best fit model, out of nine random extractions, reaches a 99.9% Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) probability. We also attempt to predict the relative distribution of variables in fundamental and first overtone pulsators, reaching a satisfactory agreement. However, one finds that canonical models outnumber the observed number of red HB stars by roughly a factor of two. Possible solutions for this discrepancy are outlined. Alternative evolutionary scenarios are also briefly discussed.

Key words: instabilities -- stars: interiors -- stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs -- stars: evolution -- stars: Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) and C-M diagrams -- stars: oscillations

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© ESO 2005