Beryllium abundance in turn-off stars of NGC 6752*
European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 CIFIST Marie Curie Excellence Team
3 Observatoire de Paris, GEPI, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Trieste, Italy
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Firenze, Italy
6 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy
Accepted: 18 December 2006
Aims.To measure the beryllium abundance in two TO stars of the Globular Cluster NGC 6752, one oxygen rich and sodium poor, the other presumably oxygen poor and sodium rich. Be abundances in these stars are used to put on firmer grounds the hypothesis of Be as cosmochronometer and to investigate the formation of Globular Clusters.
Methods.We present near UV spectra with resolution obtained with the UVES spectrograph on the 8.2 m VLT Kueyen telescope, analysed with spectrum synthesis based on plane parallel LTE model atmospheres.
Results.Be is detected in the O rich star with log(Be/H) = –, while Be is not detected in the other star for which we obtain the upper limit log(Be/H) < –12.2. A large difference in nitrogen abundance (1.6 dex) is found between the two stars.
Conclusions.The Be measurement is compatible with what found in field stars with the same [Fe/H] and [O/H]. The “Be age” of the cluster is found to be 13.3 Gyr, in excellent agreement with the results from main sequence fitting and stellar evolution. The presence of Be confirms the results previously obtained for the cluster NGC 6397 and supports the hypothesis that Be can be used as a clock for the early formation of the Galaxy. Since only an upper limit is found for the star with low oxygen abundance, we cannot decide between competing scenarios of Globular Cluster formation, but we can exclude that “polluted” stars are substantially younger than “unpolluted” ones. We stress that the Be test might be the only measurement capable of distinguishing between these scenarios.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: globular clusters: individual: NGC 6752 / stars: late-type / stars: individual: Beryllium
© ESO, 2007