Volume 534, October 2011
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||21 September 2011|
Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Landessternwarte, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Federal Republic of Germany
3 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, Place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
4 Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Twelve Quays House, Egerton Wharf, Birkenhead CH41 1LD, UK
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Collurania, via M. Maggini, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Received: 14 February 2011
Accepted: 1 April 2011
We calculated synthetic spectra for typical chemical element mixtures (i.e., a standard α-enhanced distribution, and distributions displaying CN and ONa anticorrelations) found in the various subpopulations harboured by individual Galactic globular clusters. From the spectra we determined bolometric corrections to the standard Johnson-Cousins and Strömgren filters and finally predicted colours. These bolometric corrections and colour-transformations, coupled to our theoretical isochrones with the appropriate chemical composition, provided us with a complete and self-consistent set of theoretical predictions for the effect of abundance variations on the observed cluster colour–magnitude diagrams. CNO abundance variations affect mainly wavelengths shorter than ~400 nm owing to the rise of molecular absorption bands in cooler atmospheres. As a consequence, colour and magnitude changes are largest in the blue filters, independently of using broad or intermediate bandpasses. Colour–magnitude diagrams involving uvy and UB filters (and their various possible colour combinations) are therefore best suited to infer photometrically the presence of multiple stellar generations in individual clusters. They are particularly sensitive to variations in the N abundance, with the largest variations affecting the red giant branch (RGB) and lower main sequence (MS). BVI diagrams are expected to display multiple sequences only if the different populations are characterized by variations of the C+N+O sum and/or helium abundance that lead to changes in luminosity and effective temperature, but leave the flux distribution above 400 nm practically unaffected. A variation of just the helium abundance up to the level we investigate here exclusively affects the interior structure of stars, and is largely irrelevant for the atmospheric structure and the resulting flux distribution in the whole wavelength range spanned by our analysis.
Key words: stars: abundances / Hertzsprung-Russell and C-M diagrams / stars: evolution / globular clusters: general
Table A.1 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
The synthetic fluxes (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/534/A9
© ESO, 2011
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