Volume 531, July 2011
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||05 July 2011|
The role of blue horizontal branches
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna Italy
Received: 5 April 2011
Accepted: 12 May 2011
We present deep (V ≃ 28.0) BV photometry obtained with the wide field channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board HST for four M 31 globular clusters that were identified as candidate intermediate-age (age ~ 1−9 Gyr) by various authors, based on their integrated spectra and/or broad/intermediate-band colors. Two of them (B292 and B350) display an obvious blue horizontal branch, indicating that they are as old as the oldest Galactic globulars. On the other hand, for the other two (B058 and B337), which display red horizontal branches, it was not possible either to confirm or disconfirm the age estimate from integrated spectra. The analysis of the distribution in the spectral indices Mg2 and Hβ of the M 31 and Milky Way clusters whose horizontal branch can be classified as red or blue based on existing CMDs, strongly suggests that classical age diagnostics from integrated spectra may be significantly influenced by the HB morphology of the clusters and can lead to erroneous age-classifications. We also provide the CMD for another two clusters that fall into the field of the main targets, B336, an old and metal-poor globular with a significant population of RR Lyrae variables, and the newly discovered B531, a cluster with a very red red giant branch.
Key words: galaxies: individual: M 31 / galaxies: star clusters: general / techniques: photometric
Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program GO-10631 [P.I.: T. Puzia].
Photometric catalogs are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/531/A155 and at http://www.bo.astro.it/M31/hstcatalog/
© ESO, 2011
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