Volume 627, July 2019
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||02 July 2019|
Chemical composition of the outer halo globular cluster Palomar 15
Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Mönchhofstr. 12, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Gemini Observatory, Northern Operations Center, 670 N. A’ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
3 University of California Los Angeles, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Accepted: 24 May 2019
Globular clusters (GCs) in the outer Milky Way halo are important tracers of the assembly history of our Galaxy. Only a few of these objects show spreads in heavier elements beyond the canonical light-element variations that have essentially been found throughout the entire Galactic GC system, suggesting a more complex origin and evolution of these objects. Here, we present the first abundance analysis of three red giants in the remote (RGC = 38 kpc) outer halo GC Palomar 15, based on medium-resolution spectra obtained with the Keck/ESI instrument. Our results ascertain a low iron abundance of −1.94 ± 0.06 dex with no evidence of any significant abundance spreads, although this is based on low number statistics. Overall, abundance ratios of 16 species were measured, including carbon, Na, Al, α-peak (Mg,Si,Ca,Ti) and Fe-peak (Sc,V,Cr,Fe,Co,Ni) elements, and the three neutron-capture elements Sr, Ba, and Eu. The majority of abundances are compatible with those of halo field stars and those found in other GCs in the outer and inner halos at similar metallicity. Pal 15 is enhanced to [Mg/Fe] = 0.45 dex, while other α-elements, Ca and Ti, are lower by 0.3 dex. Taking Mg as a representative for [α/Fe], and coupled with the lack of any significant spread in any of the studied elements we conclude that Pal 15 is typical of the outer halo, as is bolstered by its chemical similarity to the benchmark outer halo cluster NGC 7492. One star shows evidence of elevated Na and Al abundances, hinting at the presence of multiple stellar populations in this cluster.
Key words: Galaxy: abundances / Galaxy: evolution / globular clusters: individual: Palomar 15 / globular clusters: general / Galaxy: halo
© ESO 2019
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