Abundances of lithium, oxygen, and sodium in the turn-off stars of Galactic globular cluster 47 Tucanae⋆
1 Vilnius University Astronomical Observatory, M. K. Čiurlionio 29, 03100 Vilnius, Lithuania
2 Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, Goštauto 12, 01108 Vilnius, Lithuania
3 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, Place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
4 Department of Astronomy and Astronomical Observatory, Odessa National University and Isaac Newton Institute of Chile Odessa branch, Shevchenko Park, 65014 Odessa, Ukraine
5 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
6 Landessternwarte – Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Received: 17 October 2013
Accepted: 19 March 2014
Context. The cluster 47 Tuc is among the most metal-rich Galactic globular clusters and its metallicity is similar to that of metal-poor disc stars and open clusters. Like other globular clusters, it displays variations in the abundances of elements lighter than Si, which is generally interpreted as evidence of the presence of multiple stellar populations.
Aims. We aim to determine abundances of Li, O, and Na in a sample of of 110 turn-off (TO) stars, in order to study the evolution of light elements in this cluster and to put our results in perspective with observations of other globular and open clusters, as well as with field stars.
Methods. We use medium resolution spectra obtained with the GIRAFFE spectrograph at the ESO 8.2 m Kueyen VLT telescope and use state of the art 1D model atmospheres and NLTE line transfer to determine the abundances. We also employ CO5BOLD hydrodynamical simulations to assess the impact of stellar granulation on the line formation and inferred abundances.
Results. Our results confirm the existence of Na-O abundance anti-correlation and hint towards a possible Li-O anti-correlation in the TO stars of 47 Tuc. At the same time, we find no convincing evidence supporting the existence of Li-Na correlation. The obtained 3D NLTE mean lithium abundance in a sample of 94 TO stars where Li lines were detected reliably, ⟨A(Li)3D NLTE⟩ = 1.78 ± 0.18 dex, appears to be significantly lower than what is observed in other globular clusters. At the same time, star-to-star spread in Li abundance is also larger than seen in other clusters. The highest Li abundance observed in 47 Tuc is about 0.1 dex lower than the lowest Li abundance observed among the un-depleted stars of the metal-poor open cluster NGC 2243.
Conclusions. The correlations/anti-correlations among light element abundances confirm that chemical enrichment history of 47 Tuc was similar to that of other globular clusters, despite the higher metallicity of 47 Tuc. The lithium abundances in 47 Tuc, when put into context with observations in other clusters and field stars, suggest that stars that are more metal-rich than [Fe/H] ~ −1.0 experience significant lithium depletion during their lifetime on the main sequence, while the more metal-poor stars do not. Rather strikingly, our results suggest that initial lithium abundance with which the star was created may only depend on its age (the younger the star, the higher its Li content) and not on its metallicity.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: atmospheres / globular clusters: individual: 47 Tucanae / techniques: spectroscopic
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© ESO, 2014