Chemical Abundances along the 1G Sequence of the Chromosome Maps: The Globular Cluster NGC 3201


The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) UV Legacy Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters (GCs) has investigated multiple stellar populations by means of the “chromosome map” (ChM) diagnostic tool that maximizes the separation between stars with different chemical compositions. One of the most challenging features revealed by ChM analysis is the apparent inhomogeneity among stars belonging to the first population, a phenomenon largely attributed to He variations. However, this explanation is not supported by uniformity in the p-capture elements of these stars. The HST survey has revealed that the GC NGC 3201 shows exceptionally wide coverage in the {{{∆ }}}{{F}275{{W}},{{F}}814{{W}}} parameter of the ChM. We present a chemical abundance analysis of 24 elements in 18 giants belonging to the first population of this GC and having a wide range in {{{∆ }}}{{F}275{{W}},{{F}}814{{W}}}. As far as the p-capture elements are concerned, the chemical abundances are typical of first-generation (1G) stars, as expected from the location of our targets in the ChM. Based on radial velocities and chemical abundance arguments, we find that the three stars with the lowest {{{∆ }}}{{F}275{{W}},{{F}}814{{W}}} values are binary candidates. This suggests that at least those stars could be explained with binarity. These results are consistent with evidence inferred from multiband photometry that evolved blue stragglers (BSs) populate the bluest part of the 1G sequence in the ChM. The remaining 15 spectroscopic targets show a small range in the overall metallicity by ∼0.10 dex, with stars at higher {{{∆ }}}{{F}275{{W}},{{F}}814{{W}}} values having higher absolute abundances. We suggest that a small variation in metals and binarity governs the color spread of the 1G in the ChM and that evolved BSs contribute to the bluest tail of the 1G sequence. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory under ESO program 0101.D-0113(A) and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society