Integrated K-band spectra of old and intermediate-age globular clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud *,**
ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei
München, Germany e-mail: [mlyubeno;mrejkuba;mkissler;ltacconi]@eso.org
2 Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ, 85719, USA e-mail: email@example.com
4 Astronomical Institute, University of Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC, Utrecht, The Netherlands e-mail: S.S.Larsen@uu.nl
Accepted: 6 October 2009
Current stellar population models have arguably the largest uncertainties in the near-IR wavelength range, partly due to a lack of large and well calibrated empirical spectral libraries. In this paper we present a project whose aim it is to provide the first library of luminosity weighted integrated near-IR spectra of globular clusters to be used to test the current stellar population models and serve as calibrators for future ones. Our pilot study presents spatially integrated K-band spectra of three old (≥10 Gyr) and metal poor ([Fe/H] ~ -1.4), and three intermediate age (1–2 Gyr) and more metal rich ([Fe/H] ~ - 0.4) globular clusters in the LMC. We measured the line strengths of the , and 12CO (2–0) absorption features. The index decreases with increasing age and decreasing metallicity of the clusters. The index, used to measure the 12CO (2–0) line strength, is significantly reduced by the presence of carbon-rich TP-AGB stars in the globular clusters with age ~1 Gyr. This is in contradiction to the predictions of the stellar population models of Maraston (2005, MNRAS, 362, 799). We find that this disagreement is due to the different CO absorption strength of carbon-rich Milky Way TP-AGB stars used in the models and the LMC carbon stars in our sample. For globular clusters with age ≥2 Gyr we find index measurements consistent with the model predictions.
Key words: Magellanic Clouds / stars: carbon / galaxies: star clusters
Based on observation collected at the ESO Paranal La Silla Observatory, Chile, Prog. ID 078.B-0205.
Spectra in FITS format are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/510/A19
© ESO, 2010