High-dispersion spectroscopy of giants in metal-poor globular clusters. II.Oxygen and sodium abundances

Dante Minniti, Ruth C. Peterson, Doug Geisler, Juan J. Clariá

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Oxygen and sodium abundances or upper limits have been determined for 17 red giant members of the metal-poor Galactic globular clusters M68 (two stars), M30 (two stars), M15 (two stars), M55 (two stars), and NGC 6397 (five stars), as well as for the moderately metal-poor clusters NGC 4833 (one star), NGC 6144 (one star), and NGC 6752 (three stars). The behavior of [O/Fe] with respect to luminosity and metallicity is investigated. As found in previous works, the oxygen-to-iron ratios show an upper envelope, in agreement with the mean level of field halo stars of similar metallicities ([O/ Fe] = +0.4 ± 0.15). Moreover, as is true of the more metal-rich giants in globular clusters, about one-third of the stars do not have enhanced oxygen with respect to iron, in contrast to field giants of similar metallicity, which are almost invariably oxygen-rich. Several explanations for this deficiency are examined, including emission possibly associated with mass-loss filling in the oxygen lines and evolutionary mixing effects. In particular, the abundances of oxygen and sodium are seen to be anticorrelated, in agreement with previous results (Kraft et al. 1995). The enhancement of oxygen in these extremely metalpoor clusters appears similar to that of less metal-deficient clusters, an important datum for determinations of their relative ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-960
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART I
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Globular clusters: general
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: population II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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