II. Observations of stars in the globular cluster NGC 6397 with VLT/FLAMES-GIRAFFE
Department of Physics & Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 515, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
2 European Southern Observatory (ESO), Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 857 48 Garching bei München, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Accepted: 25 August 2008
Context. Evolutionary trends in the surface abundances of heavier elements have recently been identified in the globular cluster NGC 6397 ([Fe/H] = -2), indicating the operation of atomic diffusion in these stars. Such trends constitute important constraints for the extent to which diffusion modifies the internal structure and surface abundances of solar-type, metal-poor stars.
Aims. We perform an independent check of the reality and size of abundance variations within this metal-poor globular cluster.
Methods. Observational data covering a large stellar sample, located between the cluster turn-off point and the base of the red giant branch, are homogeneously analysed. The spectroscopic data were obtained with the medium-high resolution spectrograph FLAMES/GIRAFFE on VLT-UT2 (R ~ 27 000). We derive independent effective-temperature scales from profile fitting of Balmer lines and by applying colour-Teff calibrations to Strömgren uvby and broad-band BVI photometry. An automated spectral analysis code is used together with a grid of MARCS model atmospheres to derive stellar surface abundances of Mg, Ca, Ti, and Fe.
Results. We identify systematically higher iron abundances for more evolved stars. The turn-off point stars are found to have 0.13 dex lower surface abundances of iron compared to the coolest, most evolved stars in our sample. There is a strong indication of a similar trend in magnesium, whereas calcium and titanium abundances are more homogeneous. Within reasonable error limits, the obtained abundance trends are in agreement with the predictions of stellar structure models including diffusive processes (sedimentation, levitation), if additional turbulent mixing below the outer convection zone is included.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: Population II / globular clusters: general / techniques: spectroscopic / methods: observational / diffusion
© ESO, 2008