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Milky Way globular clusters are excellent laboratories for stellar population detailed analysis that can be applied to extragalactic environments with the advent of the 40m-class telescopes like the ELT. The globular cluster population traces the early evolution of the Milky Way which is the field of Galactic archaeology. We present our GlObular clusTer Homogeneous Abundance Measurement (GOTHAM) survey. We derived radial velocities, Teff, log(g), [Fe/H], [Mg/Fe] for red giant stars in one third of all Galactic globular clusters that represent well the Milky Way globular cluster system in terms of metallicity, mass, reddening, and distance. Our method is based on low-resolution spectroscopy and is intrinsically reddening free and efficient even for faint stars. Our [Fe/H] determinations agree with high-resolution results to within 0.08 dex. The GOTHAM survey provides a new metallicity scale for Galactic globular clusters with a significant update of metallicities higher than [Fe/H] > -0.7. We show that the trend of [Mg/Fe] with metallicity is not constant as previously found, because now we have more metal-rich clusters. Moreover, peculiar clusters whose [Mg/Fe] does not match Galactic stars for a given metallicity are discussed. We also measured the CaII triplet index for all stars and we show that the different chemical evolution of Milky Way open clusters, field stars, and globular clusters implies different calibrations of calcium triplet to metallicity.
We are reporting some recent results from our long-term program aimed at characterizing the obscured present-day star cluster population in the Galaxy. Our goal is to expand the current census of the Milky Way's inner stellar disk to guide models seeking to understand the structure and recent star-formation history of our Galaxy. The immediate goal is to derive accurate cluster physical parameters using precise infrared photometry and spectroscopy. So far, we observed approximately 60 star cluster candidates selected from different infrared catalogs. Their nature, reddening, distance, age and mass are analyzed. Two of them, Mercer 3 and Mercer 5, are new obscured Milky Way globular clusters. Among the newly identified open clusters, the objects [DBS2003] 179, Mercer 23, Mercer 30, Mercer 70, and [DBS2003] 106 are particularly interesting because they contain massive young OB and Wolf–Rayet stars with strong emission lines.
We present the distribution of Galactic bulge globular clusters and a method based on simultaneous detection of field and cluster horizontal branches to derive the cluster distances. This method has the advantage of being independent of both reddening and the reddening law, RV = AV/E(B−V). The vast majority of clusters projected in the direction of the Galactic bulge are located on the near side of the Galactic Center. Deviations from the reddening law do not seem to be responsible for this peculiarity. We need to introduce a peculiar, steep dependence of the absolute horizontal-branch magnitude with metallicity in the metal-rich regime if we want to reproduce a symmetrical distribution. Instead, if the observed distribution is correct, we expect a rather large number of bulge globular clusters are still to be discovered.
The metallicity distribution and abundance ratios of the Galactic bulge are reviewed. Issues raised by different groups in recent work, in particular the high metallicity end, a comparison between the oxygen abundances derived from different indicators, the [OI] 630nm and IR OH lines, and the issue of measuring giants vs. dwarfs, are discussed. Finally, abundances in bulge globular clusters are briefly described.
The discovery of an increasing number of extrasolar planets (EPs) prompts the development of a planetary taxonomy. Such analysis, as in many other fields of research, is useful to identify groups of objects sharing similar traits. When applied to extrasolar planets, the taxonomy may provide a valid support for disentangling the role of the several physical parameters (semimajor axis, metallicity etc.) involved in the planetary formation processes and subsequent evolution. We present the state-of-the-art for exoplanets taxonomy obtained with hierarchical algorithms and the definition of robust clusters of planets (this is an update of the taxonomy published in Marchi 2007). The physical relevance of the exoplanet clusters along with their implications for the formation theories are also discussed. Finally, we comment on the future improvements of such analysis taking into account new algorithms and new input variables.
We have obtained HST-NICMOS observations of five of M31's most metal-rich globular clusters: G1, G170, G174, G177 & G280. For the two clusters farthest from the nucleus, G1 and G280, we statistically subtract the field population and estimate metallicities using K-(J - K) color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs). Based on the slopes of their infrared giant branches we estimate [Fe/H] = −1.22 ± 0.43 dex for G1 and −0.15 ± 0.37 dex for G280. We combine our infrared observations of G1 with two epochs of optical HST-WFPC2 F-band data and identify at least one LPV based on color and variability. The location of G1's giant branch in the K, (V - K) CMD is very similar to that of M107, indicating a somewhat higher metallicity than our purely infrared CMD; [Fe/H]= −0.9 ± 0.2 dex.
Deep CCD photometry for a number of bulge-projected metal rich globular clusters and their nearby field background have been obtained. The V/V-I or I/V-I color-magnitude diagrams of the observed clusters are similar to the background fields and show high metallicity peculiar features. They are all very compact and slightly elongated.
We think that it is possible to find the correct scale of abundance for metal-rich globular clusters thanks to the new generation of spectrographs, equipped with CCD cameras. We analyzed giants in ten globular clusters and Arcturus using high dispersion spectra acquired through the CASPEC spectrograph at the 3.6 m telescope at La Silla. The detector was an RCA CCD. Stars cooler than 4150 K were avoided since their absorption spectrum is too strong. By a comparison with standard Arcturus spectra, we found a small trend to overestimate equivalent widths. This systematic error affects the derived abundances only marginally. However, too large equivalent widths must produce too large metal abundances. Abundances were derived following a standard procedure.
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