WIDE FIELD NEAR-INFRARED PHOTOMETRY of 12 GALACTIC GLOBULAR CLUSTERS: OBSERVATIONS VERSUS MODELS on the RED GIANT BRANCH

Roger E. Cohen, Maren Hempel, Francesco Mauro, Douglas Geisler, Javier Alonso-Garcia, Karen Kinemuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present wide field near-infrared (near-IR) photometry of 12 Galactic globular clusters, typically extending from the tip of the cluster red giant branch (RGB) to the main sequence turnoff. Using recent homogenous values of cluster distance, reddening and metallicity, the resulting photometry is directly compared to the predictions of several recent libraries of stellar evolutionary models. Of the sets of models investigated, Dartmouth and Victoria- Regina models best reproduce the observed RGB morphology, albeit with offsets in J - KS color which vary in their significance in light of all sources of observational uncertainty. Therefore, we also present newly recalibrated relations between near-IR photometric indices describing the upper RGB versus cluster iron abundance as well as global metallicity. The influence of enhancements in alpha elements and helium are analyzed, and we find that the former affect the morphology of the upper RGB in accord with model predictions. Meanwhile, the empirical relations we derive are in good agreement with previous results, and minor discrepancies can likely be attributed to differences in the assumed cluster distances and reddenings. In addition, we present measurements of the horizontal branch (HB) and RGB bump magnitudes, finding a non-negligible dependence of the near-IR HB magnitude on cluster metallicity. Lastly, we discuss the influence of assumed cluster distances, reddenings and metallicities on our results, finding that our empirical relations are generally insensitive to these factors to within their uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume150
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • globular clusters: general
  • globular clusters: individual (NGC 104, NGC 288, NGC 362, NGC 1261, NGC 1851, NGC 2808, NGC 4833, NGC 5927, NGC 6304, NGC 6496, NGC 6584, NGC 7099)
  • infrared: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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