Volume 649, May 2021
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||01 June 2021|
Potassium abundances in multiple stellar populations of the globular cluster NGC 4833⋆
INAF-Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, Via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Accepted: 11 March 2021
NGC 4833 is a metal-poor Galactic globular cluster (GC) whose multiple stellar populations present an extreme chemical composition. The Na-O anti-correlation is quite extended, which is in agreement with the long tail on the blue horizontal branch, and the large star-to-star variations in the [Mg/Fe] ratio span more than 0.5 dex. Recently, significant excesses of Ca and Sc with respect to field stars of a similar metallicity were also found, signaling the production of species forged in H-burning at a very high temperature in the polluters of the first generation in this cluster. Since an enhancement of potassium is also expected under these conditions, we tested this scenario by analysing intermediate resolution spectra of 59 cluster stars including the K I resonance line at 7698.98 Å. We found a wide spread of K abundances, anti-correlated to Mg and O abundances, as previously also observed in NGC 2808. The abundances of K are found to be correlated to those of Na, Ca, and Sc. Overall, this chemical pattern confirms that NGC 4833 is one of the relatively few GCs where the self-enrichment from first generation polluters occurred at such high temperatures that proton-capture reactions were able to proceed up to heavier species such as K and possibly Ca. The spread in K observed in GCs appears to be a function of a linear combination of cluster total luminosity and metallicity, as other chemical signatures of multiple stellar populations in GCs.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: atmospheres / stars: Population II / globular clusters: general / globular clusters: individual: NGC 4833
© ESO 2021
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